16 January 2009, 21:17

Authorities and public of Chechnya condemn Budanov's release

The early release from prison of former colonel Yuri Budanov, who has served his term for kidnapping and murder of a Chechen girl of 17, caused an extremely negative reaction in Chechnya.

Today in Grozny, a mass protest action will be held. It will be the third one during the last month.

Nurdi Nukhazhiev, Ombudsman for Chechnya, voiced his sharp condemnation of Budanov's release.

"Budanov is a criminal, dangerous for the society and capable to commit many other crimes, therefore, he should get life imprisonment. We've already submitted the corresponding materials to the Investigatory Department for Chechnya of the Investigatory Committee at the Prosecutor's Office (ICPO) of the Russian Federation. Today the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Chechnya has all the grounds to arrest him and bring to the place of his crime," Mr Nukhazhiev said yesterday, on January 15.

"The Russian justice has again demonstrated its disrespect for the Chechen people by releasing a military criminal guilty of a violent execution of a helpless girl, who afterwards, based on his words, was called by many Russian media as 'sniper-woman'. In Russia, residents of Chechnya are still considered 'B-class' nation, who could be killed, raped and crippled under far-fetched pretexts," Timur Dzhudaev, a student of one of Chechen higher schools, told the "Caucasian Knot" correspondent.

According to human rights activist Aslambek Apaev, an expert of the Moscow Helsinki Group for Northern Caucasus and head of the public organization "Committee in Defence of Forced Migrants' Rights", Budanov's early relief means that now, despite of new evidences of his other grave crimes, the former colonel will hardly ever be punished.

"I'm quite sure that Budanov will now disappear, like, for example, Ulman did, and nobody will look for him. During all these years pseudo-patriots and nationalists of all kinds tried to portrait this tyrant and murderer as a courageous officer and a victim of a rightful cause. An early release from the colony of a military criminal is a travesty of the law," asserts the human rights activist.

In his opinion, we cannot exclude that Budanov will be elected a deputy of Russian State Duma, like it was with Lugovoy, whom British justice found guilty of the death of the former FSB officer Litvinenko. Thus, Budanov will become an untouchable person.

Author: Sultan Abubakarov, CK correspondent;

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