The mother of murdered Russian opposition politician, Boris Nemtsov, has received a letter from President Vladimir Putin promising that the Russian justice system won’t rest until someone has been framed for her son’s murder.
“The great nation of Russia mourns collectively for your loss” Mr Putin is reported to have written to Mrs Nemtsov. “I wish I knew who was responsible, but unfortunately at the time of your son’s murder I was doing whatever it was I said was my alibi.”
The former deputy Prime Minister was shot four times in the back by a group of unknown assailants. Russian journalist, Kseniya Sobchak has revealed that Mr Nemtsov was preparing evidence of Russian presence in Ukraine, but that’s probably some, though it’s unclear what evidence would be stronger than Putin’s word.
The murder has shocked the international community, with leaders like the President of the United States, Barack Obama, calling for a ‘transparent investigation’. Mr Putin, however, has assured world leaders that he will conduct a fair and even handed investigation, and was positive that once he had looked at all the evidence, he would be cleared of any wrong doing.
“I know Mr Putin very well. I trust Mr Putin. He is a highly competent politician and the most qualified person to be in charge of the investigation” Mr Putin told Russian news channel RT (formerly known as Russia Today).
“There are dissenters who are claiming the state’s involvement in this murder but I feel highly confident that the state’s investigation will turn up zero evidence of the state’s involvement.”
The Russian President said he feared how the slaying of one of his most vocal critics would affect freedom of speech in Russia;
“There’s an old Russian saying I just invented; ‘there’s a bullet for every critic’. The right to criticise the government is one of Russia’s most cherished rights, but now future critics may remain silent out of fear that they too will be murdered.”
“What a shame that would be.”
Matthew Farthing is the International Crime reporter for The (un)Australian. In high school he was known as ‘The Blonde Bullet’ which is just 1 of 37 things he shares in common with Tom Petty.