An army officer imprisoned for murdering a young Chechen woman will be released early. The high-profile trial of Yuri Budanov (pictured) was seen as a test of Moscow's willingness to crack down on alleged human rights abuses in Chechnya.
AFP - A Russian court ruled Wednesday that an army officer jailed in 2003 for 10 years for murdering a young Chechen woman would be granted early release, the Interfax news agency said.
The court in the south Russian province of Ulyanovsk said Yuri Budanov would be given early release after previously refusing to hear his case on four occasions.
Budanov was found guilty in July 2003 of strangling Elza Kungayeva, 18, in March 2000 in Tangy-Chu, southeast of the Chechen capital Grozny.
The verdict followed a marathon trial, lasting more than three years, which had a big impact on Russia.
Budanov's trial was widely seen as a test of Moscow's determination to crack down on alleged human rights abuses by Russian troops in Chechnya.
The court's decision provoked protests from non-government organisations.
"Chechens are indignant.... Some NGOs want to oppose this decision. Chechen students are preparing protests," said Nurdi Nukhajiev, Chechen mediator of human rights, according to the Ria Novosti news agency.
Date created : 2008-12-25