Convicted Nemtsov Killers Given Lengthy Prison Terms

A Russian court has sentenced five men convicted of killing opposition politician Boris Nemtsov to prison terms ranging from 11 to 20 years.

Zaur Dadayev, the man convicted of fatally shooting Nemtsov, was sentenced to 20 years in prison on July 13.

Anzor Gubashev was given 19 years in prison; his brother, Shadid Gubashev, was sentenced to 16 years; Temirlan Eskerkhanov received 14 years; and Khamzat Bakhayev got 11 years.

Ater the sentencing, lawyers for the Nemtsov family, expressed dismay that those who ordered the killing and their motive remain unknown.

Prosecutor Maria Semenenko, who on July 12 asked the judge to sentence Dadayev to life, said the sentences might be appealed by the prosecution.

The convicted men's lawyers said they would appeal the convictions and the sentences.

A jury convicted the five men, all from Russia's North Caucasus region of Chechnya, on June 29. They all denied the accusations.

A sixth man, Ruslan Mukhudinov, has been charged in absentia with organizing the killing.

Nemtsov, a reformist former first deputy prime minister who was a vocal critic of President Vladimir Putin and of Kremlin-installed Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov, was shot from behind on a bridge just outside the Kremlin on the night of February 27, 2015.

A lawyer for Nemtsov's family, Vadim Prokhorov, told reporters after the sentences were pronounced that he and his colleagues will continue to work to identify those who ordered the politician's killing.

"We will keep on struggling to bring those who ordered and organized Nemtsov's murder to justice. Today's sentences showed that [the murder] is linked at least to Grozny [the capital of Chechnya]," Prokhorov said.

Another lawyer for the Nemtsov family, Olga Mikhailova expressed regret that Dadayev had not been sentenced to life.

The lawyers said earlier that a decision on whether to appeal the verdicts and sentences will be made after consultation with Nemtsov's eldest daughter, Zhanna Nemtsova.

Nemtsova said earlier that the trial failed to name the organizers of her father's killing or their motive. She criticized Putin for not compelling Kadyrov to testify at the trial.

Nemtsov's associate and former deputy head of the opposition Parnas party, Ilya Yashin, also said on July 13 that the 20-year sentence for Dadayev was too lenient.

"There will be no rest as long as the masterminds of this crime are at large," Yashin added.

The killing of the charismatic and outspoken Nemtsov shocked many Russians, particularly the country's fractured and beleaguered opposition.

Many Kremlin critics and opposition politicians viewed him as a figure with the experience and skill needed to potentially challenge the Kremlin.

With reporting by, TASS, and Interfax