Representatives of the family of murdered opposition activist Boris Nemtsov have asked investigators to define this case as murder of a statesman.
"We have filed the application with the Investigative Committee today. This decision is long overdue; the crime was initially defined under Points G, H, Part 2, Article 105 of the Russian Criminal Code [murder by a group of hired assassins], yet we think it should be investigated as an attempt on the life of a statesman under Article 277 of the Russian Criminal Code," the family's lawyer Vadim Prokhorov told Interfax on Sept.14.
The reason is that Nemtsov was a deputy of the Yaroslavl Region Duma and co-chaired the PRP-PARNAS opposition party at the time of his murder and had previously held governmental positions and served as a governor and a State Duma deputy, he said.
The application of another article will not entail a stricter punishment, Prokhorov said.
"Both the original article and the one requested by us envisage a jury trial and the possibility of a lifetime sentence," he said.
Prokhorov thinks that Nemtsov was killed for strictly political reasons and that the crime should be defined accordingly.
Nemtsov was shot and killed on Bolshoi Zamoskvoretsky Bridge in Moscow on February 27. A criminal case was opened under Article 105 (murder) and Article 222 (illegal arms turnover) of the Russian Criminal Code. The Main Investigative Department of the Russian Investigative Committee is looking into the case.
Five defendants in the Nemtsov murder case - suspected perpetrators Zaur Dadayev and Anzor Gubashev and their suspected accomplices Khamzat Bakhayev, Shamsudin Gubashev and Timerlan Eskerkhanov - are in custody on the orders of the Moscow Basmanny Court.
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