The Topography of Abductions in The North Caucasus
Over the course of a decade only two in a thousand filed cases of human rights violations reached a legitimate courtroom in Russia. One was the case of General Budanov, who was convicted for the abduction, torture and subsequent rape of young Elza Kulgaeva. He was released on parole in 2009 after eight years in prison and assassinated in June 2011. His assassination caused a wave of nationalist discontent in Russia.
Second was the case of OMON Lieutenant Sergi Lapin, widely known by his appellation “Kadet” and for his brutal torture of hundreds of abductees. Lt. Lapin was convicted for the murder of Zelimkhan Murdalov, and sentenced to nine years imprisonment for “exceeding his official authority, and causing grave bodily injury with aggravating circumstances”
During the trial of Sergei Lapin, Murdalov's family survived several assassination attempts, including a revenge attack in Oslo, Norway, in 2005. Journalist Anna Politkovskya, who reported on the Murdalov case, was shot and killed in Moscow in October 2006. Lawyer Stanislav Markelov, who represented Murdalov, was shot and killed in Moscow in January 2009. A close friend of the Murdalov family, Natalia Estemirova, who represented this case, among thousand others, through human rights organization Memorial was abducted and killed on the 15th of July 2009.