A Russian court has sentenced five men convicted of murdering opposition leader Boris Nemtsov to 20 years in jail.
Of the convicts, Zaur Dadayev, a soldier from southern Russia’s predominantly Muslim region of Chechnya, was handed the longest term on Thursday.
Four other men, also Chechens, were also convicted for various roles in the murder which sent shockwaves throughout Russia’s fragmented political opposition.
They were sentenced to between 11 and 19 years, state media reported.
The same court last month found the five men guilty of killing Nemtsov in 2015, but the late politician’s allies said the investigation had been a cover-up and that the people who had ordered his killing remained at large.
Nemtsov, a scathing critic of President Vladimir Putin, was murdered days before he was expected to lead a major opposition march.
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His death also came ahead of the release a controversial report implicating the Russian military in the Ukraine conflict.
Dadayev reportedly confessed early in the investigation to killing Nemtsov for insulting Islam and Chechnya’s leader, Ramzan Kadyrov, but later recanted his confession.
Al Jazeera’s Andrew Simmons, reporting from Moscow, said the sentences do not resolve the case with Nemtsov’s family insisting that the real perpetrators behind his murder are still on the loose.
“The family of Nemtsov feels they may never know who was actually responsible for his killing,” he said.
Thursday’s sentencing also coincided with a statement by the Russian investigation team which said that the motivation for the killing was financial.
“There were a lot of political aspects to this case that many people feel really haven’t been addressed,” our correspondent said.
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Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies