On Sunday, nine days after Russian activist Boris Nemtsov was gunned down near the Kremlin, a Moscow court charged two suspects with his murder. The back story about their possible motives and ties is still under examination.

As the BBC reported that day, the two men eventually charged in the Nemtsov case — Zaur Dadayev and Anzor Gubashev, both of Chechen origin — were part of a group of six suspects that Russian officials pursued in the days following the 55-year-old opposition leader’s death. Here’s more about the accused pair from the British news agency:

Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov said Mr Dadayev was a devout Muslim who was shocked by cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad published by the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.

Russian investigators have previously said they were looking into the possibility that Mr Nemtsov was killed over his defence of the publication. …

The Russian Investigations Committee is treating the case as a “contract killing”, Interfax news agency reported.

According to the sections of the criminal code cited in court, investigators believe the murder was carried out by a group of people, that it was committed on contract for financial gains, and that it also involved extortion and banditry, Interfax says.

Three other suspects have denied that they played a role in Nemtsov’s killing.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has publicly condemned the murder, but given Nemtsov’s open challenges to his authority, the possibility of Putin’s involvement in his detractor’s demise has unsurprisingly been a subject of speculation since the Feb. 27 shooting.

Read more about Nemtsov’s story in Ivo Mijnssen and Philipp Casula’s article, “Anti-Putin Politician’s Murder Lays Russian Realities Bare,” here.

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