Budanov has been jailed for raping and killing a Chechen woman
The decision of the pardon committee of the Ulyanovsk region of Russia towards Colonel Yury Budanov has been coordinated with the Kremlin administration, human rights activist Sergey Kovalev said in an interview with Echo of Moscow radio station. The committee upheld Yury Budanov's solicitation, who had been jailed for ten years for the killing of a Chechen woman.
Kovalev is certain that the committee's decision does not mean that Budanov will be pardoned. According to Kovalev, the president wishes to show it to the society, including the Western society, that criminals will be punished despite the decisions of regional committees. “Budanov will stay in jail for quite a while before he is released ahead of scheduled time,” Kovalev said. The human rights activist thinks that it was the most reasonable and efficient step to make for Putin from the point of view of the presidential politics.
”However, if the colonel is pardoned indeed, the decision will also have a demonstrative political significance,” Kovalev told Echo of Moscow. “It will be a mean lesson for the global public opinion. We do whatever we want, we pardon whoever we want and consider them respectable Russian officers,” Kovalev stated.
Sergey Kovalev said that the trial on Colonel Budanov was a national shame: “All those turns and hesitations of the process showed that the Russian justice is being manipulated. The decision of the pardon committee in the Ulyanovsk region also showed that the establishment of regional pardon committees instead of federal ones implied new opportunities of judiciary abuse. “The fact that the rapist and murderer can be pardoned is the brightest example of it,” Sergey Kovalev said.
Presidential aide for pardon and amnesty issues, Anatoly Pristavkin, refused to comment the situation with Colonel Budanov's pardon. The official said that he had not been informed on the materials of the Ulyanovsk-based committee, as far as the details are concerned. Budanov can be pardoned according to the law: “Any murderer, rapist, perpetrator has a right to be pardoned,” Pristavkin said.