Russian Investigation Committee says Budanov not guilty of disappearances in 2000


The day after the Russian Prosecutor’s Office Investigation Committee announced that it has twice interrogated former Army Colonel Yury Budanov, it has stated that Budanov was not involved. The investigation is over the disappearance of 18 Chechens and killing of three of them in 2000. The Committee stated that Budanov had proven that he could not physically have been at the place where the Chechens were taken from, and that the material of the criminal file confirms his testimony.
It is not stated why there were two interrogations, and how far apart they were, since one would have assumed Budanov would have provided his evidence immediately.
The Human Rights Ombudsperson for Chechnya Nurdi Nukhfziyev does not believe the conclusion drawn by the Investigation Committee. In an interview to the radio station “Echo Moskvy” he said that there was a lot of testimony incriminating Budanov in criminal activities. He added that he intended to demand that the Investigation Committee carry out an active investigation into grave crimes against the civilian population of Chechnya, not only those committed by Budanov, but also by Vladimir Shamanov (implicated in two European Court of Human Rights judgments).
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