MALGOBEK, Russia (AP) — The mother of two of the suspects in the slaying of Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov said she is certain they didn't do it.
Anzor and Shagid Gubashev are among five men, all ethnic Chechens, accused in the shooting death of Nemtsov on a bridge near the Kremlin on Feb. 27.
"I will never believe they did it, never," Zulai Gubasheva told The Associated Press in an interview Wednesday at her home, wiping away tears. "I didn't bring them up for this."
The family lives in Ingushetia, an impoverished republic bordering Chechnya in the North Caucasus of southern Russia.
She said her sons, now in their early 30s, left for Moscow years ago because they couldn't find work at home. The mother said her elder son, Anzor, who had served in the army in Ingushetia for two years, was later offered a job in the Chechen police force, but she discouraged him.
"No, Anzor, don't do it, I don't want this for you, I don't want you always to be afraid for your life," Zulai Gubasheva said. "And he said: 'OK, Mom. Mom, I asked and you told me your opinion."
She said he then left to rejoin his brother in the Russian capital.
One of the other suspects, Zaur Dadaev, had been a senior officer in Chechnya's police force. Gubasheva said he was her nephew and the boys had grown up together.
At a court hearing in Moscow after the arrests, a judge said Dadaev had confessed to the crime, but Dadaev did not admit guilt in the courtroom and later retracted his confession. The other suspects also have denied involvement.