PRAVDA.Ru already wrote about the trial of colonel Yury Budanov: an unexpected turn in the investigation took place the day when the colonel should have been sentenced. The judge suddenly decided to return to hearings. Budanov’s lawyers characterized it as “outrage of the law.”
The lawyers suppose the change in the case is connected with pressure upon the Public Prosecutor General’s Office and upon the judges. It should be remembered that literally the day before the trial, the prosecutor was replaced: Sergei Nazarov was discharged for health reasons, while his place was occupied Military Prosecutor General Vladimir Milovanov. He immediately declared changing the court’s position on the deed of the defendant” and demanded to carry out a new psychiatric examination. (Much earlier, in answer to a speech of former prosecutor Sergei Nazarov, Prosecutor General Ustinov said that his office would certainly appeal against the court’s verdict of “not guilty.”)
Yesterday, it became known (this does not look odd now) that the leadership of the Serbsky Institute of Forensic Psychiatry has changed its position on the Budanov case. According to the Polit.Ru web-site, the institute’s director, Tatyana Dmitrieva, said last week that unprecedented pressure was placed upon the institute, that the preceding examination had already answered all questions, etc. Sunday, on the Itogi news program, she said that already third, fourth, and even fifth examination are an absolutely normal thing and the court could prescribe as many examinations as the court find to be necessary.
It is clear that all the examinations could have different results, while some of them could satisfy a potential customer. Budanov’s lawyers also understand this, who recently expressed their distrust in the experts who are to carry out the new examination. In particular, the lawyers are pained with the fact that one of the experts is Georgy Morozov, who had headed the Serbsky Institute in the 1960s-1980s, when it was more similar to a punitive psychiatric machine forcedly “curing” dissident people.
However, Polit.Ru supposes that “the turn in the trial could be connected with pre-election politics.” According to the web-site, “Rostov court’s independence – not speaking about the prosecutor himself – is hardly believable. It is clear that the change in Budanov’s case was organized by the Kremlin.”
According to Polit.Ru, by the year 2004, when the presidential election will be carried out, the president intends to complete in some way the Chechen issue, so the peace proccess is now controlled not by the military, but by the president's administration leadership. While the administration's leadership in its turn at once developed Budanov’s case. Therefore, the turn in Budanov’s case has its internal reasons, and it is not addressed to the public opinion of the West. Therefore, the main figure who is off screen is the president.
The Russkaya Linia information and analytic agency has its own version: this is not the president, but somebody who plays with the president. Putin could himself become the main victim of the dirty play. The article of the agency is called in entitled “Vladimir Putin has lost the trial of colonel Yury Budanov.” He has lost already!
The agency suspects that there is a conspiracy between the lawyers of the Kungaevs (the parents of the killed girl Elza Kungaeva), Public Prosecutor General’s Office, and some forces standing behind their back, who are interested in weakening of President Vladimir Putin. The Kungaevs’ lawyers specially protracted the trial, because since July 1, the new Criminal Code was put into effect in Russia.
According to Russkaya Linia, this is a spectacle directed by an experienced producer, while the aim of the spectacle is to break Budanov. Somebody intends to drive Budanov to suicide. The agency supposes that, as a result of the humiliation of Budanov, there will be less supporters of Putin in the army (at the moment, according to Nezavisimaya Gazeta, only 18 percent of military support him). However, who is interested in weakening the president?
The agency notices the fact that, recently, ex-president Boris Yeltsin has become very active. Vladimir Zhirinovsky even accused Yelstin of the attempting to organize a coup d’etat. Of course, the accusation was made in traditional for Zhirinovsky's traditional manner, but this doesn't change the truth of the matter. It should be also reminded that Public Prosecutor General Vladimir Ustinov is openly called by the press a “creature of the Family,” i.e., belongs to Yeltsin’s circle. TV journalist Yevgeny Kiselev once even presented on his program documents convicting Vladimir Ustinov of bribery. Apropos, Putin, after having become president, wanted to appoint Dmitry Kozak Public Prosecutor General. However, Ustinov was introduced to the Federation Council, while Kozak became the leader of law-enforcement bodies in the presidential administration. Therefore, the news agency concludes that Yury Budanov turned out to be a suitable target in the fight against Vladimir Putin.
Nezavisimoye Obozrenie also believes that Yury Budanov is the victim. His guilt was fixed even before the trial. Moreover, Budanov’s case was really promoted; without this promotion, it hardly would have caused much ado. Unfortunately, it is only an average case. This is the logic of war. A sniper should be found and neutralized, without paying attention to the Criminal Code. And, besides, many other crimes took place in Chechnya committed by the military, though they are not so broadly exposed. Therefore, the trial of Budanov is a demonstrative trial as a example of the fight against the military’s crimes.
Sergei Stefanov PRAVDA.Ru
Translated by Vera Solovieva
Read the original in Russian: http://pravda.ru/main/2002/07/09/43897.html