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Russian Court Told Slain Nemtsov Dismissed Death Threats

Boris Nemtsov Alexander Zemlianichenko / AP

Boris Nemtsov, who was assassinated near the Kremlin on Feb. 28 2015, did not take threats to his life seriously and believed he was safe, according to testimony from Duma Deputy Gennady Gudkov in a Moscow Military Court, the RIA Novosti news agency reported Thursday.

"I knew that Boris [Nemtsov] was very much at risk, showing absolute indifference to his own safety," Gudkov said. 

"He believed that his public activity was his defense, and that nobody would dare carry out the threats he'd received." 

On Wednesday the court questioned Ilya Yashin, deputy chairman of Nemtsov's PARNAS party. Yashin told the court that Nemtsov had received threats both on social networks and in person and that three years prior to Nemtsov's assassination, his son had also received threats. Yashin also mentioned that Nemtsov had been hit with eggs in Yaroslavl, and his car had been vandalized in Moscow.

Nemtsov, who had held various senior positions in the Russian government during the 1990s, joined the opposition against Vladimir Putin in the 2000s. 

The defendants are the alleged killer Zaur Dadaev, Khamzat Bakhaev — who according to investigators supplied Dadaev with information and had to hide him after the crime — and Temirlan Eskerkhanov, who is charged with monitoring Nemtsov's movements, as well as brothers Anzor and Shadid Gubashev.

A separate investigation into the case of Ruslan Mukhudinov, who is suspected of ordering the hit on Nemtsov, is also ongoing. Mukhudinov has been wanted internationally since November 2015.

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