Publication: North Caucasus Weekly Volume: 2 Issue: 8

Salaudin Temirbulatov, a former Chechen field commander, was sentenced by a Russian military court in Kabardino-Balkaria, on February 15, to life imprisonment, with confiscation of property. Temirbulatov was found guilty of having executed four Russian contract soldiers in 1996, during the previous war, and of having committed a number of other serious crimes, such as kidnapping. The judge remarked at the end of the trial that “taking into consideration the special danger that Temirbulatov represents for society, he deserves the death penalty.” The judge, however, then noted that death sentences can only be meted out in jury trials and added that Russia is currently observing a moratorium on the death penalty. Under these circumstances, he said, life imprisonment was appropriate. Russian Prosecutor General Vladimir Ustinov subsequently expressed satisfaction with the military court’s verdict, adding, “Humanly speaking, this bandit, on whose conscience is more than one ruined life, deserves the death penalty” (Segodnya, February 16).