UK urges Russia to back 'fuller' inquiry into death of Boris Nemtsov

Updated: 

Britain has urged Russia to continue investigating the assassination of opposition leader Boris Nemtsov as responsibility for the killing "goes further" than the five men convicted on Thursday.

Mr Nemtsov, a prominent opponent of President Vladimir Putin, was shot late at night in 2015 as he was walking across a bridge just outside the Kremlin.

Five men were convicted at a Moscow court on Thursday of involvement in the murder, but the UK Foreign Office (FCO) said it supported a "fuller investigation" into who ordered the killing, in line with the wishes of Mr Nemtsov's family.

The FCO described the murder as callous and said the investigation must continue to ensure that all those responsible, including those who ordered the assassination, are brought to justice. 

A spokesperson said: "The Foreign and Commonwealth Office supports Boris Nemtsov's family in their call for a fuller investigation into who ordered his murder.

"Responsibility for his murder goes further than those already convicted, and we call on the Russian government to bring the perpetrators to account."

The jury in Moscow found Zaur Dadayev, a former officer in the security forces of Chechnya's leader Ramzan Kadyrov, guilty of murdering Mr Nemtsov, according to Russian news agencies.

Four other men were found guilty of involvement and all are due to be sentenced by a judge.

But allies of Mr Nemtsov have criticised investigators for failing to probe the role of Mr Kadyrov, who described Dadayev as a "true patriot" after his arrest, and top Chechen officers in the assassination.

Mr Nemtsov's family have also urged investigators to question Ruslan Geremeyev, who commanded the police unit in which Dadayev served, and was summoned to testify but failed to appear.

Investigators told the court last year that they visited Mr Geremeyev's property in Chechnya but "no one opened the door".