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Russian Colonel Withdraws Request For Pardon

21 September 2004 -- A Russian Army colonel convicted of kidnapping and murdering a young Chechen woman withdrew his request for a pardon today after public demonstrations of outrage in Chechnya.

Colonel Yurii Budanov was convicted in July 2003 for the murder of an 18-year-old Chechen girl who Budanov said was a rebel sniper.

Budanov's attorneys portrayed Budanov as having suffered from trauma from what he had seen in Chechnya and not being fully responsible for his actions when he killed the girl.

More than 1,000 people demonstrated in the Chechen capital Grozny today demanding Budanov be kept in jail.