"Budantsev got gun back after month." Lawyer responsible for killing two Shakro’s men rescued from shootout case 

"Budantsev got gun back after month." Lawyer responsible for killing two Shakro’s men rescued from shootout case
Eduard Budantsev

This was the conclusion reached by the defendants of the high-profile case, who had participated in the 'rumble' on Rochdelskaya Street on the side of Zakhary Kalashov's henchman – crime lord Italyanets – in December 2015, and their lawyers.

According to a member of the Moscow PMC (Public Monitoring Commission) Eva Merkacheva, the mitigation of charge to Eduard Budantsev from Art. 105 of the Russian Criminal Code (Murder) to Art. 108 (Murder Committed in Excess of the Requirements of Justifiable Defense), providing for punishment of up to 2 years of imprisonment, indicates that there are intentions to withdraw the former KGB officer and head of Diktatura Zakona law firm from the criminal liability.

Such is the opinion of the criminal case defendants on the part of Kochuykov/Italyanets, who are currently in a pre-trial detention center, as Moskovsky Komsomolets (hereinafter – the MK) reports.

"Note the difference in the investigation's attitude towards us and them," Italyanets once said in an interview with the MK. "We had traumatic pistols, while they carried combat weapons. After the shootout, we didn’t run away; we got into ambulance cars. Whereas they fled the scene. And here we are, having buried our deceased friends, sitting here behind the bars, wounded. And they are at large."

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Andrey Kochuykov

It is noteworthy that in addition to the mitigation of the charge, the measure of restraint has been changed from house arrest to a written undertaking not to leave to former security official and Commander of the Moscow SOBR special police Budantsev.

Eduard Budantsev, responsible for killing two guards of Italyanets – Aleksey Kitaev and Filipp Damasskin – during the rumble outside the Elements restaurant had not been initially placed in a pre-trial detention facility, but sent under house arrest, irregardless of 'Murder of two or more persons' being the grounds for detention. He had his gun back already after a month, the MK notes. In March 2017, former MIA officers Denis Romashkin, Ildar Shakirov, and Renat Zinnatulin, accused of inaction during the shootout on Rochdelskaya Street, said that it was Budantsev who provoked the conflict.

According to Kochuykov's lawyer Andrey Ustin, the decision on modification of criminal charges against Budantsev is "procedurally inadequate."

"All former MIA employees will conclude that they can shoot, kill, and not be prosecuted for this. In fact, it seems as if all the criminal cases initiated following those events are aimed at protecting Budantsev. A unique case, indeed. Why is he so valuable for the investigation? Hard to say, but judging by how law enforcement bodies behave, his duty to his country is comparable to that of Richard Sorge," Ustin said.

According to the MK, Budantsev's lawyer has other ideas.

"We believed that the investigation would regard his actions as necessary self-defense in its pure form, for which there is no penalty at all. But law enforcers felt that it was premature. Basically, we agree, because two people died. Although, if you ask me, they did not live a good and perfect life, but one shouldn't badmouth the dead."

He also noted that the opponents made 22 shots at Budantsev (one bullet hit the lawyer in the head), and the latter allegedly did not know that they used traumatic pistols. In addition, the lawyer believes that his client's combat experience was instrumental – "he turned out to be a better shot than them."

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Zakhary Kalashov

To recall, the shootout outside Elements restaurant on Rochdelskaya Street, where the parties were resolving the issue of restaurant owner Zhanna Kim's 8-million-ruble ($133.7 thousand) debt to designer Fatima Misikova, became the grounds for the initiation of several high-profile criminal cases. Apart from employees of the private security company, controlled by Shakro Molodoy, and Kochuykov/Italyanets, Zakhary Kalashov himself, threу high-ranking ICR officers – Nikandrov, Maksimenko, and Lamonov, as well as several MIA officers ended up in a pre-trial detention center on charges of extortion.   

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