A criminal case against three police officers accused of torturing an under-age citizen has been referred to court


23 September 2014

On 24 September 2014 a preliminary hearing in the case of three police officers with Police Department No.1 of the Russian Federation Department of Interior for Ufa Vadim Fattakhov, Anton Demin and Denis Khuziakhmetov is going to take place in the Demsky District Court of Ufa. They are charged with committing a crime under Article 286 (3) (a), (b) of Russian Criminal Code (exceeding official powers with use of violence and special equipment) against a local citizen Denis Govorun.

(Screenshot from the «Vsya Ufa» television company TV-report)

As we have previously reported, in February, 2013 a 17-year old citizen of Ufa Denis Govorun appealed for legal assistance to the office of IRPO «Committee Against Torture» in Bashkortostan, who accused the local policemen of torture. He told the rights defenders that in the morning of January 28, 2013 he was coming home from volleyball competitions in Samara. Two policemen in civilian approached him at the «Dema» railway station; they showed a police ID and asked to go with them.

In the police department №1 of the Demsky district of Ufa they began to «break» him so that he confessed that he had participated in a cafe theft on the night of 6/7 January 2013. Denis’s answer that he had nothing to do with that crime didn’t satisfy them and the three police officers put him on the floor and tied him up. He sat like this for half an hour or so. Then the policemen untied him and went on with the talk, but Denis still insisted he knew nothing of the theft.

According to Denis, they began to threaten him, saying they would «plant» drugs and put him into jail, then started to beat him with hands and a rubber club. They beat him with skill: on his arms, legs, back.

Then, as the applicant claims, they used the so-called «televisor» (TV) torture. They manacled his hands, seated him on the floor, tied his legs with a rope and wound it around his neck, having put a towel on it beforehand in order not to leave marks. After that the policemen pulled his head to his legs and fixed him like that for 30 minutes. But Denis still stood his ground. Then the policemen kept their promise and «planted» drugs to him, called attesting witnesses and conducted the confiscation in their presence. However, even this didn’t make the boy slander himself.

As Denis told, only after three hours of his detainment a children’s officer came to the room; about 10 in the evening they let the boy go, his mother and friend were waiting out front because policemen wouldn’t let them in. They went home together, then to a first-aid center, where the fact of beating was stated and the young man took a certificate about multiple bruises and hematomas; after that they went to the Investigative Committee and Denis wrote a claim about the crime.

On 1 March 2013 investigative authorities of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation for the Republic of Bashkortostan a criminal case was initiated against the police officer with Service Section of the Criminal Investigations Department of Police Department No.1 of the Russian Federation Department of Interior for Ufa (Demsky district) Vadim Fattakhov on suspicion of committing a crime under Article 286 (3) (a), (b) of Russian Criminal Code (exceeding official powers with use of violence and special equipment).

In their turn the lawyers of the Committee against torture carried out a public inquiry on Denis Govorun’s application. It involved the evidence of the applicant’s version, as well as legal assistance of this case at the stage of pre-trial investigation: they took part in the investigative activities, filed necessary motions.

Upon the completion of pre-trial investigation the case was submitted to the prosecutor, but he returned the criminal case for reinvestigation twice. So, the supervisory authority officer’s uncompromising stand increased the number of suspects from one to three. At last, in August 2014 the case was submitted to the prosecutor of the Demsky district one more time, and he approved the indictment and referred the case to court.

Head of the Bashkortostan regional branch of the INGO «Committee Against Torture» Dmitriy Solodkiy: «We are very glad that the case has been finally referred to court. The persistency of the investigators is worth mentioning; they rectified all the improvement notices of the prosecutor’s office and supervisory authority, showing commitment and thoroughness during the investigation of this case. We are going to continue rendering legal assistance to our applicant at the stage of the court hearing».

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