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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Troops: Chechen Girl Mutilated

The subordinates of Colonel Yury Budanov — who is on trial in Rostov-on-Don for kidnapping and murdering a Chechen girl last year — have testified that a fellow soldier mutilated the victim's body before burying it, Interfax reported.

Budanov is charged with killing 18-year-old Elza Kungayeva in March 2000 after abducting her from her home in the southern Chechen village of Tangi-Chu, where Budanov's regiment was stationed at the time.

Budanov has admitted "arresting" the girl in the middle of the night on March 26 and strangling her to death several hours later. But he has said he believed Kungayeva was a sniper, who several weeks earlier had killed some of his soldiers, tens of kilometers away from Tangi-Chu. Budanov has said that he committed the crime in a fit of rage spurred by the death of his soldiers.

After the crime, Budanov's subordinates Igor Grigoryev, Artyom Li En Shou and a soldier identified only by the surname "Yegorov" buried Kungayeva on Budanov's orders in the nearby woods.

During Tuesday's hearings, Grigoryev and Li En Shou accused Yegorov of mutilating Kungayeva's body during the burial by repeatedly striking it with a shovel in the "groin area," Interfax reported.

They said Yegorov was acting "under stress caused by the recent deaths of his comrades" from the regiment, for which Budanov blamed his victim. The Interfax report said Yegorov was set to testify Wednesday.

A preliminary autopsy submitted by lawyers for the girl's family suggests Kungayeva had been raped; however, the forensics expert who compiled the report has testified that it should be disregarded, as it was a "preliminary" document, and said that his final report — which was accepted as court's evidence and did not point to rape — reflected the more careful and accurate examination.