Photos surface of Kremlin critic's alleged killers in getaway car

Photos surface of Kremlin critic's alleged killers in getaway car

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KIEV, Ukraine — Photographs published online by a Russian newspaper claim to show two of the five suspects in the murder of Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov driving the getaway car used in the crime shortly before it took place.

Moskovsky Komsomolets, a daily newspaper known for publishing sensational and controversial content, published two photographs on its website on Tuesday it says shows key suspect Zaur Dadayev, who allegedly confessed on Sunday to killing Nemtsov, riding with an accomplice in Moscow.

The newspaper said the images were made shortly before the assassination took place. It did not say where it acquired the images. There are no timestamps on the images. Mashable could not verify their authenticity.

Moskovsky Komsomolets alleges that the suspects’ car, a white ZAZ-Chance in which they reportedly racked up parking fines to the tune of 12,000 rubles ($192), was purchased last September. The newspaper also says the car appeared in security camera footage near Nemtsov’s home sometime after last autumn.

If true, that would undermine the motive put forth by Russian investigators, who say Dadayev and his four associates killed Nemtsov over his support for the Parisian humor magazine Charlie Hebdo, as well as his comments in January about Islam.

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Investigators believe the men — all from southern Russia’s North Caucasus region — organized and carried out the hit on their own.

Nemtsov suspect

One of the suspects in the murder of Boris Nemtsov appears in court on Sunday, March 8, 2015.

Image: Evgeny Feldman, Mashable

The Chechen hitmen theory comes off as much too convenient a motive for many, including Nemtsov’s closest friends and allies, who believe the Kremlin — perhaps even Putin himself — played a role in the murder.

Nemtsov, a staunch critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin, was gunned down in the shadow of the Kremlin shortly before midnight while walking home with Ukrainian girlfriend Anna Duritskaya on Feb. 27. He was struck by four bullets and died immediately. Duritskaya was unharmed.

The only eyewitness to the attack has said she “didn’t see anything” that night, but added that the gunman likely snuck up from behind, fired and then jumped into a light-colored getaway car.

Grainy CCTV footage released by state-run television station TVT appears to confirm Duritskaya’s account that the suspect appeared from behind them, possibly hiding in a stairwell leading down from the bridge before jumping out to shoot Nemtsov.

The footage shows what seems to be the gunman emerging from the stairwell before driving off in a white ZAZ-Chance — the same as in the newly released images — which was found dumped nearby hours later.

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The actual moment of the assassination is not visible in the CCTV footage; Nemtsov and the unknown assailant are at that point hidden from view by a snow plow truck.

Nemtsov Moscow murder scene

Russian pay their respects to slain opposition leader Boris Nemtsov at the place where he was gunned down in Moscow, Saturday, Feb. 28, 2015.

Image: Evgeny Feldman, Mashable

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