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January 10, 2003
Prosecutors join lawyers to keep Budanov in jail
By Maria Tsvetkova

Colonel Yuri Budanov will not be able to leave the Rostov pre-trial detention centre and go to a mental asylum for compulsory treatment as ordered by the courts. Soon after the parents of the officers victim filed an appeal, State Prosecutor Aleksander Derbenyov, who represents the Main Military Prosecutors Office, also protested the courts decision.

''The appeal was received by the court on Thursday,'' Chief Military Prosecutor Aleksander Savenkov told a press conference in the office of the news agency Interfax on Friday. The appeal was filed from prosecutor Aleksander Derbenyov, who represented the State Prosecution at Budanovs hearings together with Vladimir Milovanov.

The state prosecutors wanted the tank regiment commander declared guilty on all counts and sentenced to 12 years in prison, stripped of his state decorations and military rank and also forbidding him to take official state posts for a period of three years after his prison term expires.

The verdict and sentence, announced on December 31, differed a lot from this position. Regardless of the fact that Budanov confessed to killing Chechen girl Elsa Kungayeva, the court found him not criminally responsible as the psychiatric tests conducted by specialists from Russias leading Serbsky Institute of Forensic Psychiatry ruled that at the time of the murder the colonel was ''temporarily insane''. ''The accused could not fully understand the de-facto nature and social danger of his actions as well as being unable to control them,'' the court ruling says. Budanov was then ordered to undergo compulsory treatment in a special mental clinic.

The victims parents were obviously not happy with the fact that the murderer received a course of treatment instead of a prison sentence and they filed an appeal on the sentence of the North Caucasus Military Court a day before the state prosecutor. Their lawyer Abdulla Khamzayev has reported that the formal reason for the appeal was that the aggrieved party could not contest the list of experts appointed by the court for Budanovs psychiatric expertise.

Khamzayev, himself a Chechen with experience of unsuccessfully suing the Russian State for damages inflicted by the war, is not happy with the specialists of the Serbsky Institute who have twice held similar examinations on Budanovs psyche but ended up both times passing a conclusion which was favourable to the colonel.

Budanovs treatment will not start until the court finishes considering the appeals from the prosecutors and the aggrieved party. ''He is not going anywhere from the remand prison. There are common rules in this respect,'' deputy head of the Main Directorate of Punishment Execution of the Justice Ministry Oleg Filimonov told Gazeta.Ru.

Budanov has spent almost three years in prison since the time of arrest the court case lasting two of those years. Filimonov said that appeals are usually considered more quickly than court cases, but it would take more than one month. It all means that Budanov is still a long way from hospital to say nothing of freedom.

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