MOSCOW, January 22 (RAPSI) – Attorney Murad Musayev, who represents the accused in the high-profile murder cases of journalist Anna Politkovskaya and retired Colonel Yuri Budanov, will be defended in court by 93 lawyers from different regions of Russia, Izvestia daily reported Wednesday.
Musayev is presently under investigation for bribing a witness in the case of Budanov's murder. Musayev told Izvestia that the lawyers have offered to represent him voluntarily and free of charge.
According to the newspaper, all these attorneys are from different regions of Russia including Dagestan, Moscow, Chechnya, Ingushetia. Musayev's main attorney is a famous Russian lawyer Alexander Gofshtein.
Investigators allege that Musayev bribed two witnesses in January 2013 while preparing his defense of Yusup Temerkhanov, who was subsequently convicted of the murder of Colonel Budanov and sentenced to 15 years in prison. The bribes were allegedly intended to convince the witnesses to give false testimonies at trial.
The Investigative Committee also reported that between 2012 and 2013, Musayev tried to coerce the jury to acquit Temerkhanov, and attempted to persuade them to quit the jury panel.
Colonel Yuri Budanov was convicted of war crimes in Chechnya in July 2003. A military court found him guilty of abuse of power in connection with the kidnapping and the murder of 18-year-old Chechen Elza Kungayeva. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison and deprived of his rank, his medals and the chance to hold official positions for three years after his release.
In January 2009, he was released on parole. In June 2011, Budanov was shot dead as he walked out of a notary office in Moscow. According to investigators, Temerkhanov shot Budanov eight times.
They believe that Temerkhanov planned the murder after his father was killed in Chechnya in 2000. They suspect that he picked Budanov as his victim because the colonel had been tried for kidnapping and killing Kungayeva in 2000.