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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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