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Jury Deliberations Postponed In Trial Of Accused Nemtsov Killers


A woman adjusts flowers at the site of the assassination of Kremlin critic Boris Nemtsov in central Moscow in March.

Jury deliberations in the Moscow trial of five men from the Russian North Caucasus republic of Chechnya who are charged in connection with the 2015 killing of opposition politician and former Deputy Prime Minister Boris Nemtsov have been suspended until next week.

Moscow military court Judge Yury Zhitnkov began reading jury instructions on June 22 but then adjourned the proceedings until June 27. Lawyers said it is likely a verdict would be delivered the same day.

All five defendants reaffirmed their innocence during closing remarks on June 21.

The five men -- Zaur Dadayev, Anzor Gubashev, Shagit Gubazhev, Khamzat Bakhayev, and Tamerlain Eskerkhanov -- are accused of committing premeditated murder for hire. Former Chechen military driver Ruslan Mukhudinov has been charged in absentia with organizing the killing.

Nemtsov's family believes the killing was ordered by Mukhudinov's boss, Ruslan Germeyev, the deputy commander of Chechnya's notorious Sever Battalion.

Dadayev is accused of firing the fatal shots, while Gubashev is accused of driving the getaway vehicle. The other three are accused of helping procure the murder weapon and of planning the crime.

Speaking in court on June 21, Gubashev called Nemtsov "a brave man" who was murdered because of his courage.

Nemtsov, who was a vocal critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin and of Kremlin-installed Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov, was shot from behind on a Moscow bridge just outside the Kremlin on the night of February 28, 2105.

With reporting by the BBC, Kommersant, and TASS