Jury Passes Guilty Verdict in Chechen War Colonel Murder Case
MOSCOW, April 30 (RIA Novosti) - The jury at the Moscow City Court on Monday handed down a guilty verdict to a Chechen man accused of murdering former Col. Yury Budanov, who had served jail time for war crimes in Chechnya.
According to prosecutors, Yusup Temerkhanov had been planning to murder Budanov because of his hate toward all Russian servicemen who had fought in Chechnya.
Budanov, 47, was killed in Moscow in June 2011, two years after his early release from prison, where he had spent most of his 10-year sentence for kidnapping and killing 18-year-old Elza Kungayeva in the village of Tangi-Chu in March 2000. (*)
Temerkhanov shot Budanov eight times and set a getaway car on fire to destroy all the evidence of his involvement in the crime, prosecutors said.
However, investigators found and retrieved enough evidence, including DNA samples, to identify Temerkhanov as a hitman, Russia's Investigative Committee earlier said.
Temerkhanov has pleaded not guilty, but prosecutors insisted that his actions had been motivated by revenge for the death of his father, who was killed in 2000 by unidentified Russian soldiers.
Temerkhanov picked Budanov as a target because the former colonel was one of the few Russian army officers prosecuted over abuses committed during Russia's two campaigns against Chechen separatist militants, according to case materials.
* Kidnapping, killing her, raping her dead body and ordering his men to run her over with a tank to destroy the evidence. N.S.