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The killer of former Colonel Budanov sentenced to 15 years in jail

The lawyer of Yusup Temerkhanov will appeal against the Moscow City Court's verdict

MOSCOW, May 7 (Itar-Tass) - The lawyer of Yusup Temerkhanov, sentenced to 15 years in a maximum security penitentiary for the murder of former Colonel Yuri Budanov said he will appeal against the Moscow City Court's verdict.

"We regard the verdict as flawed and intend to challenge it at a higher court," lawyer Murad Musayev told Itar-Tass.

In his opinion, the court went beyond the limit of its competence by giving an assessment of actual circumstances, i.e. that Temerkhanov allegedly had personal enmity toward Budanov.

"I'm making a responsible statement that Temerkhanov had no personal enmity toward Budanov, he had not seen him, had not been acquainted with him and had never talked with him. My client learnt Budanov's first name after charges were brought against him," the lawyer said.

Meanwhile, the prosecutor, Maria Semenenko, said she was satisfied with the verdict.

Temerkhanov, accused of murder motivated by hate toward a social group, and illegal acquisition, keeping and carrying of firearms, pleaded not guilty.

Earlier in the day, the Moscow City Court sentenced him to 15 years in a maximum security penitentiary. The court also ordered to have Temerkhanov's freedom restricted after release from jail. He has to live in his place of residence for two years and remain in his house from 22:00 p.m. to 06:00 a.m.

Nine out of 12 jurors found Temerkhanov guilty of the murder. They also said he did not deserve clemency.

In his statement at the trial, the defendant's lawyer insisted that the verdict had been passed on false claims by prosecutors, and asked judge Andrei Korotkov to dissolve the jury and have retrial of the case. He also drew the court's attention to the fact that the jurors had taken out from the verdict the purported motive behind the crime - Temerkhanov's hate toward the servicemen who fought in Chechnya.

"The jurors’ verdict lacks the motive behind the crime; crimes are not committed without a motive, hence the verdict is invalid," Musayev said.

He reminded that Budanov had been sentenced to 10 years in jail for the murder of an 18-year-old Chechen girl: "that girl was abducted from her home, brutally killed, raped and buried in a forest. Budanov got ten years in prison for this crime and was released on parole. Even if we assume that Temerkhanov killed Budanov, which he didn't, it is unclear why prosecutors ask to sentence him to 16 years."

Budanov was shot and killed in the summer of 2011 in Moscow.

The investigator said Temerkhanov had purchased a Mitsubishi Lancer with fake license plates and an Izh-79 pistol converted for firing live rounds. Together with his two accomplices, whose identities have not been ascertained, he was tailing Budanov before deciding to kill him. After the murder, Temerkhanov burnt the car.

According to the prosecutor, Temerkhanov killed the former Colonel because he hated the servicemen who had fought in Chechnya. For the sake of secrecy in 2004, he obtained a passport in Argun, Chechnya, in the name of Magomed Suleimanov, and selected Budanov as his mark in 2011.

The trial was suspended for checking the reports on bribing the witness for the defense. The Investigative Committee opened a criminal case against lawyer Darya Trenina who represented Temerkhanov's interests.

Also, the SK began a check into the statement by witness Alexander Yevtukhov, who said he regarded Musayev's remarks as threats against him.