Nemtsov suspect withdraws confession

Story highlights

  • Zaur Dadayev says he was tortured while he was in custody and, because he was scared, he confessed
  • Two other suspects reported they were tortured
  • All three tell officials they are innocent

Moscow (CNN)The primary suspect jailed in connection with the shooting death of Boris Nemtsov withdrew his confession Wednesday, saying he had been under duress during his admission and isn't guilty.

Zaur Dadayev told two members of Russia's human rights council that he pleaded guilty after being detained because he was scared. He told Eva Merkacheva and Andrey Babushkin he had been tortured and the well-being of his family and friends were threatened.
Dadayev was one of two suspects recently charged in the case. Three other suspects have not been charged.
    Merkacheva and Babushkin were accused of "interfering" with the investigation and will be summoned for questioning over their motives, authorities said. Russia's Investigative Committee stated that the two rights activists violated the law when they visited and questioned Dadayev in a Moscow jail.
    Amnesty International condemned the Russian officials' decision to go after the activists, saying that a "threat to bring criminal charges" against the rights activists "raises alarming questions over the fairness of the investigation."
    Anton Tsvetkov, the head of the Public Chamber's commission for public security, said Dadyev and two other suspects denied being involved in the shooting of the Russian opposition leader.
    He said a doctor found no signs of torture during an examination of the three men.
    Shagit Gubashev and Anzor Gubashev had no bruises or wounds despite the fact they allege they were beaten by police, Tsvetkov said.
    Dadayev did have a cracked tooth and handcuff marks on his wrists.
    Nemtsov, one of President Vladimir Putin's most outspoken critics, was shot in the back on a Moscow bridge as he walked with his girlfriend near the Kremlin in February 27.
    The three suspects visited by Tsvetkov deny they are guilty and have appealed their arrests, he said.
    Putin has condemned Nemtsov's killing and ordered three law enforcement agencies to investigate, the Kremlin has said. He also wrote to Nemtsov's mother, saying he shared her grief, and promised to bring those behind the killing to justice.