A Russian military officer suffering from a grave form of schizophrenia shall not be held liable for killing a Chechnya citizen


30 July 2008

The Grozniy Garrison Court Martial freed from criminal responsibility Russian contractor Andrey Tikhonov who was charged with murder and illegal keeping of weapon and explosives. 

You may remember that in January 2005, being in Chechnya not far from Itum-Kale, RF military forces contractor Tikhonov refused to pay Mr. Adam Tukhshayev the passenger fee for riding in his car and instead of the money promised he threw a bombshell into Mr. Tukhshayev’s car. As a result of explosion the latter  was injured and died.

You may remember that the Chechen representation of the Interregional Committee against Torture in course of public investigation conducted under the application of Mr. Tukhshayev’s relatives and the Investigation Bureau of the Investigation Committee in course of preliminary investigation arrived at identical conclusions.   

 The investigation showed that at the moment of committing the crime Mr. Tikhonov was intoxicated. Besides, the forensic medical examination conducted upon the court ruling showed that serviceman Tikhonov suffered from a “chronicle mental disorder in form of constantly progressing paranoid schizophrenia”.

The doctors concluded that already at the time of serving on contract, approximately starting from August 2004, Tikhonov had “systematic manifestations of hallucinatory syndrome with delusion of persecution and gradual increase of adverse semiology”.

It should be mentioned that the serviceman plead partially guilty.

In its turn, the court decided that Mr. Tikhonov was dangerous for the society and stated that the former contractor should be sent for compulsory medical treatment.

Basing on the medical report the court found Mr. Tikhonov non compos mentis in regard to the charge he faced after the preliminary investigation and freed him from criminal responsibility.

Because of this the claim for compensation of moral and material damages incurred by the actions of the convicted that was prepared by the Committee against Torture is dismissed.

Being unable to answer for his actions due to the disease, the former serviceman will undergo forced treatment. However, the question remains: how could a person with a grave mental disorder, a long-term mental disease be hired as a contractor? What military authorities supplied him with weapon and sent to Chechnya?  

There are still no answers to these questions.

However, lawyers of the Interregional Committee against Torture are sure that the real culprits to blame for the tragedy of Adam Tukhshayev as well as the tragedy of Andrey Tikhonov are ignorant and irresponsible commanders with devil-may-care attitude to their official duties, liabilities and human lives – both of their subordinates and civilians.

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