MOSCOW, December 3 (Itar-Tass) — The 40-year-old Yusup Temerkhanov of Chechen descent,who has been standing trial on charges of murdering ex-Colonel Yuri Budanov, has pleaded not guilty at the Moscow City court which opened hearings into a criminal case against Temerkhanov on Monday.
Temerkhanov is on trial as implicated in the murder of Yuri Budanov for reasons of ethnic hatred and feud against a social group and also as a suspect implicated in illegal weapons possession.
After the prosecutor read out a bill of indictment Temerkhanov defied the charge brought against him. "The chief untruth of the case is that the murder “was committed” by my defendant," his lawyer, Murad Musayev, declared in court. Earlier, the lawyer said that during a preliminary inquest the defendant refused to answer the investigators' questions and declared that he would testify only in court.
The investigation claims that on June 10, 2011 Temerkhanov fired eight shots from his pistol at Yuri Budanov when Budanov came out of a barrister's office in Komsomolskly prospect in Moscow. Budanov died of wounds on the spot.
Yuri Budanov was a former Colonel of the 160th tank regiment which took part in an anti- terrorist operation on the territory of Chechnya. Budanov was convicted for murder of a local woman in 2000.
The prosecution claims that Temerkhanov murdered Budanov in an act of revenge for the death of Temerkhanov's father who was killed by unidentified servicemen in the same year. The defendant preferred Budanov as the victim because court proceedings against Budanov aroused a broad public uproar, the prosecutors said.
Criminal proceedings against two presumed accomplices of Yusup Temerkhanov are being conducted in the framework of a separate criminal case.