Nemtsov murder suspect was not tortured – lawyer

Boris Nemtsov file photo

(Interfax – March 12, 2015)

A lawyer for one of the men charged with the murder of Russian opposition politician Boris Nemtsov has dismissed suggestions that his client was tortured in order to force him to confess to the crime, the privately-owned Russian news agency Interfax reported on 12 March.

Ivan Gerasimov said that his client, Zaur Dadayev, had told him investigators had not subjected him to any “physical or psychological pressure”. Gerasimov’s remarks came the day after Andrey Babushkin, a member of Russia’s presidential human rights council, said he had visited Dadayev in prison and seen wounds on Dadayev’s body that suggested he had been tortured.

“My client did not complain of torture and said, including with respect to the investigative measures in which he was involved, that no physical or psychological pressure was exerted on him. During those investigative measures, no breaches were committed by employees of the Russian Investigations Committee,” Interfax quoted Gerasimov as saying. He added that Dadayev had “given testimony in the criminal case” and had “actively cooperated with the investigation”.

Russian state news agency RIA Novosti quoted Gerasimov as saying: “I didn’t see any physical damage, except the marks left by the handcuffs.”

Babushkin, however, has stuck to his version of events. “Dadayev told us five times that, had illicit methods not been used to influence him, the statements he made would have been different,” he said at a news conference hosted by Interfax on 12 March.

“We found injuries on his legs, in the region of his ankles. He maintained that he was put in shackles. It should be said that shackles have been banned in our country since 1904,” Babushkin added.

Nemtsov was shot dead a few hundred yards from the Kremlin on 27 February. Dadayev is one of two men to have been charged over the killing, along with Anzor Gubashev. Three other men – Shagid Gubashev, Khamzat Bakhayev and Tamerlan Eskerkhanov – have been remanded in custody.