RealNews

Russia Orders a New Trial in Chechen Rape and Murder

Russia’s Supreme Court today threw out the verdict in the nation’s most contentious criminal trial, ruling that a military court ignored procedure when it absolved a prominent army colonel of responsibility in the strangling of an 18-year-old Chechen woman in March 2000. The ruling means that Col. Yuri Budanov, who had been declared temporarily insane at the time of the killing, will stand trial again before a new judge. It was a stunning victory for the family of the slain woman, Elza Kungayeva, and for critics who have charged that Colonel Budanov’s trial was tainted by pressure from the military. “At some stage on earth, a dictatorship of the law comes,” Abdullah Khamzayev, the attorney for Ms. Kungayeva’s family, said jubilantly outside the courtroom. “The law, equal for all — white, black, bald, curly, irrespective of anything.” Full Story

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