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January 19, 2009

Another Assassination in Russia

Lawyer Stanislav Markelov was shot and killed in Moscow by a man using a pistol and silencer. Two companions, including a journalist for the anti-Putin newspaper Novaya Gazeta, were also shot.

Markelov was one of Russia's best known human rights lawyers. He had represented the family of an 18-year-old Chechen woman who was savagely raped and murdered in 2000 by a former Russian army colonel.

Yuri Budanov snatched Kheda Kungayeva from her father's house during a late-night raid in 2000, killed her inside his tent, and then ordered his subordinates to secretly bury her body. He was convicted of murder in 2003 despite claiming he had gone temporarily insane at the time of her killing and had mistaken her for a sniper.

A judge sentenced Budanov to 10 years imprisonment, but he was released by another court last week. Markelov made a fruitless last-minute appeal of the decision and was just coming out of a press conference when he was killed.


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posted by Gabriel Malor at 12:35 PM

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