A policeman from Orenburg accused of battery of a man is placed under house arrest


18 November 2014

On Friday, 14 November 2014, the Leninskiy District Court of Orenburg examined a motion of investigator of the first department for major cases of the Investigative Department of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation for Orenburg region Vladimir Lebedev for imposing a pre-trial restraint on a district police officer of Karinovka village Anatoliy Lagayev who is accused of battery of a man. The court passed a decision to place the policeman under house arrest till 25 November 2014.

(Photo: Andrey Bishev after surgery)

As we have previously reported, on 4 September 2013 Andrey Bishev applied to Orenburg branch of INGO «The Committee Against Torture» for legal assistance. According to the applicant, on 21 August 2013 he was at home, and in the evening had a quarrel with his mother. She called the district police officer to calm her son down, for he had repeatedly started domestic brawls before.

The police arrived quickly. As Mr Bishev states, the district police officer, police major Anatoliy Lagayev, came with a colleague of his from a neighboring village. They took the brawler into their car and drove outside the village. After a short ride they arrived to a grain storage. There the policemen ordered Andrey to get out of the car, knocked him down and began beating him with a truncheon. Andrey remembers that the battery went with lecturing, such as «everyone is sick and tired of your behavior». The «awareness session» lasted for several minutes until Andrey threw up with blood. The policemen gave the man a cloth for him not to stain the car, and threw him into the trunk. Then the officers came back to the village to question Andrey’s neighbors concerning the quarrel. Only after that the policemen took the man to Perevolotsk District Department of the Interior of Orenburg region.

According to the victim, he was left alone for almost 24 hours in a cell of the police department temporary detention facility. Only by August 22, Mr Bishev was urgently admitted into Perevolotsk district hospital. The man was diagnosed with numerous hematomas, skin abrasions, and internal bleeding with rupture of internal organs. He underwent two complicated surgeries. The situation was so difficult that local surgeons had to ask specialist from Orenburg for help. Only with their joint efforts the doctors managed to restore Andrey’s badly damaged organs.

On 25 August 2013 investigator of Novosergiyevskiy Interdistrict Investigative Department of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation for Orenburg region Dmitriy Anipko opened a criminal case based on the fact of violence causing grievous bodily harm by some unidentified individuals. Initially various versions were investigated (battery of Andrey by the neighbor teenagers, battery of Andrey by his mother with a rolling pin), except the one which Bishev himself stated – a battery by the policemen.

According to human rights defenders the sabotage of this case would have continued had it not been transferred to the first department for major cases of the Investigative Department of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation for Orenburg region on 10 June 2014 after the motion of the lawyers working with the Committee Against Torture. Investigator of this department Vladimir Lebedev gathered evidence incriminating the district police officer Lagayev and on 10 November 2014 charged him over crime under Article 286 (3) (a), (b) of Russian Criminal Code (exceeding official powers with use of violence and special equipment).

According to human rights defenders Anatoliy Lagayev, trying to avoid criminal responsibility, started to exert pressure on Bishev, which was expressed in various threats and a pay-off attempt, urging Andrey to withdraw his evidence against the police officer. According to the victim he was promised 250 thousand rubles for that.

Due to the fact that the defendant Lagayev, being an acting police officer was actively obstructing the proceedings in this criminal case, investigator Vladimir Lebedev decided to file a motion to the court requesting putting Lagayev under arrest. In the course of the hearing which took place on 14 November 2014 the lawyers of the Committee Against Torture, representing the interests of Bishev, supported the motion of the investigator. The prosecutor was of the same opinion. The lawyer of Lagayev, in his turn, provided the court with a good conduct reference letter from the police officer’s place of work. Among other things it stated that the district police officer had high percentage of cases solved. It’s worth pointing out the prosecutor’s reaction to that: «One can be a good district police officer and have high percentage of cases solved, but if you study the case materials it can be seen that the methods which are applied to achieve this result (by Lagayev – author’s note) are unacceptable».

Despite that the judge of the Leninskiy District Court of Orenburg Viktor Afanaskin passed a decision on putting Lagayev under a house arrest till 25 November 2014.

Lawyer of Orenburg branch of INGO «The Committee Against Torture» Albina Mudarisova, representing the interests of the victim, comments on the court’s decision: «The chosen restraint, in our view, is inconsistent with the circumstances established in the course of the criminal investigation – as our applicant Andrey Bishev reported, the district police officer Anatoliy Lagayev repeatedly threatened him, attempted a pay-off, and was instigating the fellow villagers to give evidence that he wanted. Apart from that the administration of this restraint in the conditions of residence in the countryside is very hard to control, which leaves the defendant with the opportunity to exert influence on the parties of the criminal proceedings».

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