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MOSCOW, April 30 (Itar-Tass) - The jury panel of the Moscow City Court on Tuesday found Chechen national Yusup Temerkhanov guilty of the murder of former commander of the 160th Guards Tank Regiment Yuri Budanov.
The investigation charged Temerkhanov with the murder of Budanov in the summer of 2011 out of hatred towards Russian soldiers. The crime was committed by a group with unidentified accomplices. The jury for more than two months have been examining the case files and concluded that the defendant is guilty.
The jury members were unanimous - 9 jurors found Temerkhanov guilty and undeserving leniency, and three - guilty and deserving leniency.
It took the jury about four hours to pass the verdict, and once they jury members were returned to back to the deliberation room by Judge Andrei Korotkov to correct technical infringements in the interrogatory.
The court scheduled the discussion of the implications of the verdict for April 30. Under the law, at this stage the public prosecution will name the punishment that it considers fair for Temerkhanov with taking into account the jury verdict.
In turn, Temerkhanov’s lawyer Murad Musayev told reporters that he considered the verdict unfounded. “We do not know if the jury panel was under pressure, but the previous jury panel discharged by the court was under pressure,” the lawyer said.
Temerkhanov, 40, is accused of hate murder and strife against a social group, and illegal acquisition, keeping and carrying of firearm. He pleaded not guilty. In 2004, he obtained a passport in Argun, Chechnya, in the name of Magomed Suleimanov, and selected Budanov as his target in 2011.
Yuri Budanov, 47, was shot and killed in central Moscow at noon on June 10, 2011, as he was leaving a notary’s office in Komsomolsky Prospekt (Avenue). An unidentified attacker fired eight shots at him. The white Mitsubishi Lancer in which he fled was later found in a nearby district in Dovatora Street. Police found a pistol with a silencer in the car.
“Temerkhanov and his two accomplices had been tailing Budanov,” the investigators said. Temerkhanov arrived in Komsomolsky Avenue on June 10, 2011, parked his car, evaluated the situation and decided to assassinate Budanov at that location. He got out of the car and shot Budanov at least eight times, whereupon he fled. After killing Budanov, Temerkhanov set the car on fire, thinking that the fire would destroy all the evidence of his involvement in the crime.
“However, the fire was extinguished on time. The investigators found and retrieved many items, including those that helped them ascertain the suspect's identity through DNA tests,” an Investigative Committee (SK) spokesman said earlier.
In 2003, Budanov was sentenced to ten years in jail on charges of kidnapping and murdering Chechen woman Elza Kungayeva in the village of Tangi-Chu in March 2000.