The Chechen branch of the Investigating Committee stated involvement of former Colonel Yuri Budanov, sentenced to 10 years in prison for killing Elza Kungayeva, 18, in the Chechen Republic in 2000, into kidnapping and murder of three more persons. Their bodies with marks of tortures were found in Urus-Martan district in March, 2000. The investigation was interrupted because of lack of suspects and evidences.
But in December 2008, it was proceeded at the initiative of Chechen Ombudsmen Nurdi Nukhazhiyeva and application of relatives of the killed people. Nukhazhiyev had provided investigators with documents from four the Chechen Republic residents accusing Budanov of involvement in the murder and kidnapping of their relatives in 2000. They identified Budanov as a commander of a group of soldiers, which attacked four men near Duba-Yurt village –Didiev, Arsunkaev, Titaev and Delmuhkanov. A month later the bodies of three of them were found near Tangu-chue village. The body of Delmukhanov is still missing. The witnesses announced that Budanov took their documents and ordered them to follow him. The wife of one of them was present at the moment but failed to find out any details of where they were taken. A week later after disappearance of her husband she repeated an attempt to find out his location. Budanov refused any involvement at first, saying that he had never seen her husband, but then he dropped that her husband”will never return”.
Human rights activists in the Chechen Republic are satisfied with the way new investigation is going on, but their great concern is that Budanov may be unavailable for justice at the moment. The criminal procedure was proceeded on the 22 of January, 2009. On the 5th of February the Chechen branch of the Investigating Committee set it before Military Prosecutor.
Former army Colonel Yuri Budanov, convicted in July 2005 for the murder of a Chechen woman, was released on parole midst January, 2008, sparking outrage among the victim’s family and senior Chechen officials.
The evidence of other crimes of Budanov in the Chechen Republic does not become a sensation for the Kungaevs` family advocate Stanislav Markelov. “The criminal case, which was examined in Noth-Caucasus military department contained materials on other crimes of Budanov but they lacked evidence and were not properly proved”, he said in the interview to New Izvestiya newspaper. Four days after the interview he was shot dead in the center of Moscow along with a journalist of Novaya Gazeta newspaper Anastasia Baburova.
Former colonel whose location is unknown at the moment, denies any involvement into these crimes. The Chechen branch of the Investigating Committee specifies that a new criminal case will be a responsibility of military investigators.