Court Postpones Budanov's Release

The early release of former army Colonel Yury Budanov, convicted in July 2005 for the murder of a Chechen woman, has been postponed until at least Friday pending a complaint from the victim's family, Interfax reported Monday.

Budanov was sentenced to 10 years in prison for killing 18-year-old Elza Kungayeva in Chechnya in 2000. An Ulyanovsk region court last month ordered his early release in a controversial decision that sparked protests in Chechnya.

He was to be released Friday, but Stanislav Markelov, a lawyer for Kungayeva's family, filed a complaint over the ruling, Interfax said.

Budanov has always maintained he believed Kungayeva was a rebel sniper and strangled her in a fit of rage during an interrogation. He has become a rallying figure for Russian nationalists.