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Published in Stream:
Russia Update: October 29, 2015
Press by
The Interpreter
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Convicted Murderer of Chechen Politician Yamadayev Brought to Moscow for Interrogation in Nemtsov Case
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Aslanbek Dadayev, the convicted murderer of Chechen military leader and politician Ruslan Yamadayev is being transported to Moscow for questioning in a number of high-profile cases, including the murder of opposition leader Boris Nemtsov, reported. Dadayev was also sentenced for the attempted murder of banker Aleksandr Antonov and is serving a total of 20 years in a labor colony in Arkhangelsk Region.

A source in law-enforcement told Rosbalt that Dadayev will be asked about the contractors of the murder and assault for which he was convicted, which were never revealed, but about which he is said to have information.

Some of the suspects in the Nemtsov murder case are related to those in the Yamadayev case, said the source, who said Dadayev was now "not refusing to give testimony" as he was before.

Another source told Rosbalt that he was skeptical that Dadayev could provide any information of use and that he was an "old hand" at dissembling. He added that, regarding the contract on Yamadayev and Antonov, Dadayev's story is that the order came not from Chechnya but bankers in Moscow, and the crimes are related to their internal disputes. He did not believe this story had changed.

The Russian media has repeatedly cited the ties between Zaur Dadayev, the chief suspect in the Nemtsov murder and a powerful Chechen senator, Suleiman Geremeyev. His nephew, Ruslan Geremeyev, was Dadayev's commander in the Sever Battalion. Ruslan was with Dadayev in Moscow at the time of the murder, and was also in communication with Suleiman.

Rosbalt notes that at the time of the investigation of the Yamadayev and Antonov cases, the involvement of Suleiman Geremeyev was being investigated. Elimpashi Khatsuyev, one of the murderers was in touch with a man named "Suleiman." Dadayev also communicated during this period with a man named "Adam" who is believed to be Adam Delimkhanov, another Chechen senator who is the cousin of Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov.

Suleiman denied any involvement with the murders when he was interrogated in 2009. He said he knew Delimkhanov, who was his relative, as a police officer. A month later, Geremeyev was appointed senator from Chechnya and remains in this position.

Nikolai Tutevich, the current investigator of Nemtsov's case, who who replaced the one originally appointed known for having prosecuted ultranationalists convicted of murder, is the same man who investigated Yamadayev's murder years ago.

Nemtsov was murdered on the night of February 27 on the Bolshoi Moskvoretsky Bridge outside the Kremlin walls on the eve of a large march to protest the war in Ukraine and economic crisis in Russia. After a few announcements in early March, Russian officials have made no more official statements since then, and everything we know about the course of the investigation has been leaked to the press.

-- Catherine A. Fitzpatrick