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Ex-Russian colonel, guilty of Chechen war crime, buried

Tuesday June 14, 2011 08:47:04 AM, RIA Novosti

Moscow: Yury Budanov, the former Russian army colonel who served nine years for the murder of a Chechen woman during the second war in Chechnya, was laid to rest in a Moscow suburb Monday.

He was shot dead in the Russian capital four days ago.

The funeral service and burial in Khimki, just north of Moscow, were attended by several hundred people, including a number of uniformed servicemen, among them a major. Budanov was seen off with a three-gun salute.

The former colonel was a controversial figure, and the feelings aroused by his crime were evident in the heightened security.

Mourners had to pass through a police cordon and metal detectors before going into the church and cemetery.

Budanov died Friday after being shot in the head as he left a notary's office in central Moscow.

He commanded a tank regiment during the second Chechen war. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison in 2003 for the kidnapping and murder of 18-year old Chechen woman Elsa Kungayeva three years earlier.

He was controversially released on parole in January 2009, 15 months earlier. A lawyer representing Kungayeva's family who appealed against the parole ruling was shot dead in Moscow shortly after Budanov was released.

No link was found between Stanislav Markelov's murder and the Budanov case, and the former colonel had lived a quiet life since his release.

The Kungayeva family said Budanov's death was not linked to their daughter, but when Budanov was to be released in 2004, the opposition from Chechnya, including from current Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov, was such that he withdrew his clemency request.




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