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Court upholds verdict on Budanov's killer, lawyer to take case to ECHR

December 04, 2013, 17:32 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Chechnya native Yusup Temerkhanov was convicted for the murder of former commander of 160th tank regiment Yuri Budanov
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Yusup Temerkhanov

Yusup Temerkhanov

© ITAR-TASS/Anton Novoderezhkin

MOSCOW, December 04. /ITAR-TASS/. Russia's Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld the verdict for Chechnya native Yusup Temerkhanov convicted for the murder of former commander of 160th tank regiment Yuri Budanov.

Temerkhanov's lawyer Murad Musayev said he would appeal the decision with the European Court of Human Rights. "Of course, we'll appeal to the Supreme Court's presidium, but we don't have much hope. Our appeal is already half-way to the ECHR," Musayev said.

The court met his petition to question witness Alexander Yevtukhov who claimed pressure from police detectives.

Yevtukhov said he arrived from Novosibirsk to Moscow to testify at the Budanov murder trial on January 14, but that he was never questioned. On this way back, police detained him. "They put me into a car and took to a police station where they interrogated me throughout the night, putting pressure during the questioning and afterwards. Police asked me about Darya Trenina, alleging she had bribed me to give a false testimony," the witness claimed.

The court noted that the witness could not be specific regarding the identities of the policemen who allegedly had questioned him or the secret service they belonged to.

During the arguments, Musayev said "the jury dropped from the charges the motive worded as "hate towards servicemen," whereas the presiding judge nevertheless concluded that Temerkhanov had personal enmity towards the victim whomk he did not even know.

The lawyer also noted procedural violations by the prosecutor and the judge's bias.

Temerkhanov said he had been under psychological and physical pressure and claimed fabrication of evidence against him.

Budanov's son, as an injured party, said the verdict was legitimate.

"All the actions by the defense, including Yevtukhov's questioning, was Musayev's publicity move," he told reporters. He reminded that nine out of 12 jurors had passed a guilty verdict on Temerkhanov.

On May 7, Temerkhanov was found guilty of first degree murder and illegal acquisition, keeping and carrying of a firearm. He was sentenced to 15 years in a maxim security prison. An additional penalty of 1.5 years of restriction of freedom was imposed as well. It commits Temerkhanov to live at the registered place of residence for 1.5 years and stay at home from 22:00 to 06:00.

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.

The Investigative Committee said "Temerkhanov, after the murder of his father in Chechnya in 2000, decided to kill the serviceman who he believed had been involved. He chose Budanov, former commander of the 160th tank regiment well-known to the public in connection with the murder of a Chechen girl in 2000 and his subsequent trial."

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. The North Caucasus district military court stripped him of his rank of Colonel and state decorations. A court denied his parole plea four times. On December 24, 2008, the Dimitrovgrad district court granted him parole. Chechnya said it would be seeking to arraign him for other crimes committed during his participation in the anti-terrorist operation.

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