Publication: North Caucasus Weekly Volume: 3 Issue: 20

On July 2, the website Grani.ru reported, “After a year and a half of considering the case of [Colonel Yury] Budanov, on July 2 the court of the North Caucasus Military District, instead of passing a sentence, announced a decision to renew a judicial investigation into the case. The judges maintained that they had been unable to determine whether Colonel Budanov had been insane at the time that he murdered El’za Kungaeva. A new, third psychiatric examination will therefore be conducted.” “So,” the website concluded, “the judicial machine was halted at the last minute. Everything had been prepared to give the murderer a symbolic sentence and then to amnesty him directly from the courtroom. An aide to the chief military procurator, Vladimir Milovanov, well known in the circles of procurators as ‘a man who solves problems,’ sped to Rostov-on-Don and succeeded in enlightening the court. From the beginning it had been clear that the judges had defined their role in the Budanov trial as a kind of patriotic mission…. The farce had become so extreme that, at the last minute, the Kremlin awoke from slumber, and the Procurator General [Vladimir Ustinov] roused himself, while state television began to be filled with righteous indignation. The state procurator in the trial, Sergei Nazarov, was pensioned off, and Milovanov was thrown in to put out the ‘fire.'” It has also been announced that the Serbsky Institute in Moscow will not be able to conduct a new psychiatric examination of Budanov until October (Lenta.ru, July 3).