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Kerry: US seeks 'transparent, real' probe into Nemtsov murder

02 march 2015, 12:58

 US Secretary of State John Kerry on Sunday urged Russia to carry out a "thorough, transparent, real investigation" into the murder of a Russian opposition leader who fiercely criticized President Vladimir Putin, AFP reports.

Boris Nemtsov was shot dead in Moscow on Friday, just two days before he was due to lead a major anti-government rally.

"The bottom line is that we hope there will be a thorough, transparent, real investigation not just who actually fired the shots, but who if anyone may have ordered or instructed this or been behind this," Kerry, said on ABC television's "This Week" program.

"Our hearts go out to the Russian people... This was a man who was deeply committed to a better relationship with the world."

Another leading figure in US politics, former Senate Intelligence Committee chair Dianne Feinstein, said she did not know if Putin played a possible role in Nemtsov's death.

Asked by CNN if she thought Putin was behind it, she said: "Oh, I have no way of knowing."

But she agreed on CBS television's "Face the Nation" that the key question was whether there was a link between the Russian leader and the murder.

"Whether Putin authorized it, whether he didn't, whether he knew about it, whether it was his friends or some of his military doing this, we'll wait and see with the investigation," she said.

"But I think it comes at a very bad time," shortly after the start of an armistice between Russian backed rebels and Ukrainian forces, Feinstein added.

She expressed high regard for Nemtsov as "a distinguished dissident -- not your average person on the street, but someone who actually served in the cabinet of Boris Yeltsin and is very respected," she said.

"(He) spoke fluent English, was prepared to take on Russia with respect to the Ukraine and what Russia has really been doing there, and was shot down in cold blood."

Police and investigators in Russia said Nemtsov was shot down by unidentified assailants as he was walking with a woman along a bridge not far from the Kremlin.

Tens of thousands of people marched in central Moscow on Sunday in memory of Nemtsov, 55.

President Barack Obama late Saturday condemned what he called Nemtsov's "brutal" and "vicious" murder, and praised the opposition leader as a "tireless advocate for his country, seeking for his fellow Russian citizens the rights to which all people are entitled."

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