A criminal case on police torture in 2010 is reopened in Orenburg

Событие | Пресс центр

24 June 2016

Investigator of 1st Department for Major Cases of the Investigative Committee of the RF for the Orenburg region Dmitry Gryazev reopened the proceedings on the criminal case on the battery of Vladimir Prytkov from Orenburg by the police officers in 2010.  The reopening of the criminal case was a reaction to the application submitted by human rights defenders from the Committee for Prevention of Torture, representing Prytkov’s interests, in the course of the personal appointment with Acting Head of the Procedural Controls Department of the Investigative Committee of the RF for the Orenburg region Aleksey Litvinov.

(Vladimir Prytkov)

As we have previously reported, on 19 July 2010 Vladimir Prytkov from Orenburg applied to the regional branch of the Committee Against Torture for legal assistance – the man claimed that he was severely beaten up by the policemen from 2nd Operational Investigation Unit of the Orenburg Regional Directorate of the Interior.   

As Vladimir told the human right defenders, on May 19, 2010 he was detained at work and delivered to the 2nd Operational Investigation Unit of the Orenburg Regional Directorate of the Interior. There, according to Prytkov, he was beaten and tortured for about four hours with the purpose of making him confess that he together with his brother was involved in car theft, or to pay a bribe so that he would be only a witness in this case, unlike his brother.  Having failed to obtain a confession from Vladimir, the police had to release him.

After such «conversation» with the representatives of the authorities Vladimir went straight to the city hospital No.1, and after his condition grew worse he was urgently hospitalized in the city clinical hospital named after N.I.Pirogov. The following diagnosis was established: «combined craniocerebral injury, brain contusion of medium severity, subarachnoid hemorrhage, contusions of soft tissues of the head, chest contusion, arterial hypertension of 1 and 2 degree. Asthenoneurotic syndrome». After he was released from the Pirogov hospital as an in-patient Vladimir was undergoing out-patient treatment in its outpatient clinic for three months.

On 28 June 2010 Prytkov submitted a crime report upon the fact of police abuse to investigative authorities, however for over a year the investigators failed to open a criminal case. Only on 16 November 2011 it was opened on the grounds of evidence of a crime under Article 286 (3) (a) of the Criminal Code of Russia (exceeding official powers with the use of violence).

Despite numerous motions for conducting investigating actions and complaints against inaction of the investigative authorities, submitted by the human rights defenders on behalf of Prytkov, the case was repeatedly dismissed on the grounds that no crime had been committed. Last time the investigator dismissed the criminal case in June 2015. Then for a long period of time the investigative department was evading to provide the criminal case materials to human rights defenders for familiarization and subsequent appealing against the ruling on its dismissal.       .  

On 23 May 2016 lawyers of the Committee for Prevention of Torture in the course of personal appointment with Acting Head of the Procedural Controls Department of the Investigative Committee of the RF for the Orenburg region Aleksey Litvinov submitted a complaint on the dismissal of the criminal case, pointing out at numerous drawbacks of the conducted investigation.   

This complaint of human rights defenders resulted in the ruling   (1 page, 2 page) on reopening the criminal proceedings.   

«Investigator Gryazev, who is in charge of the Prytkov’s case, gathered a significant amount of information. Practically all of the eyewitnesses of the incident were questioned, the office where, according to Prytkov, he had been beaten by the police officers, was inspected. Expert examination, confirming that the traces of blood found in the office room, were Prytkov’s blood. Medical documents were attached which confirmed that Vladimir had bodily injuries that he had not had before his conversation with the police officers. However, despite the collected evidence, the investigator for some reason failed to give them assessment, having issued a ruling on dismissal of the criminal case, – lawyer of the Committee for Prevention of Torture Albina Mudarisova wonders. – We are satisfied that Mr Litvinov agreed to our arguments that the dismissal of the criminal case without the analysis of all the gathered material and based only on the evidence from the police officers, who are impartial, cannot be considered lawful and grounded. I hope that the investigator will analyze all the evidence more objectively and, at last, having given them proper assessment, will take measures to identify and bring to responsibility the persons who committed a crime against Prytkov».

It is worth noting that on 7 November 2015, as a result of obvious reluctance of the investigative authorities to investigate the criminal case based on the facts of police torture of Prytkov, human rights defenders were forced to apply to the European Court of Human Rights.