On the 10th of October 2007 Krasnodar regional court decided to let three SPF officers out of the detention centre. Those three officers, together with other four, are accused of excess of powers during a police operation in children’s camp Druzhba in Sochi in summer 2006.
On the 17th of October 2007 three defendants were really set free from custody, but there was no decision to make them sign a written pledge not to leave town. At present people who are acknowledged by court as victims have apprehensions that their life and health and the health of their relatives and witnesses might be endangered, and that the legal trial can be soft-pedalled. Should the fact that the accused were set free be considered the first sign that there are people and authorities who want the policemen charged with assault and battery to escape the responsibility? This is the question asked by the victims now.
For this reason they turned to the Prosecutor of Krasnodarskiy Kray with the following address.
To the Prosecutor of Krasnodarskiy Kray, Counsellor in Justice of the third class L.G. Korzhinek
- On the 10th of October 2007 the judicial division of Krasnodar regional court handled complaints of defendants A.Y. Ezerskiy charged with two crimes under cl. “a”, “b” of part 3, article 286 of the RF CC and cl. “a” of part 3, article 286 of the RF CC, A.B. Petrenko charged with a crime under cl. “a”, “b” of part 3, article 286 of the RF CC and V.A. Zabeivorota charged with a crime under cl. “a” of part 3, article 286 of the RF CC and decided to cancel the earlier selected measure of restraint – custodial placement. The judicial division stated in the interlocutory judgment, “the restriction measure – custodial placement – is cancelled, materials referring to this part should be submitted for a NEW TRIAL to the same court, to another judge. A.B.Petrenko, A.Y.Ezerskiy, V.A.Zabeivorota should be immediately let out of the detention centre.” Thus, three SPF officers who were found guilty in committing GRAVE crimes by Krasnodarskiy kray Prosecutor’s office were released from custody on the basis of Krasnodar regional court judicial board decision and even such a measure of restraint as a written pledge not to leave town was not applied to them.
- The cassation ruling states that “the case documentation shows that the preliminary investigation of the case is finished and the proceedings are pending, this means that the evidence collected is allocated to the case and there is almost no chance for the defendants to press the victims and witnesses.” However, even in presence of an investigator during face-to-face confrontations A.B. Petrenko threatened to “deal with” the victim when he is released from custody. Thus, the judicial board’s reasoning is inconsistent and it gives Petrenko an opportunity to carry out his threats.
A.Y.Ezerskiy is repeatedly accused of a crime under part 3, article 286 of the RF CC – first time on December 1, 2004 and on July 19, 2007, that is there is a repeated relapse into crime. V.A. Zabeivorota was one of the first to start beating victim N.Y.Serdyuk who tried to prevent battery of children. Particularly V.A. Zabeivorota is accused of the fact that he came up to the security station of children’s camp Druzhba and hit N.Y.Serdyuk without explaining the reason for it, after that the mass battery of children and grown ups began.
The court ruling stating that after the preliminary investigation there is no point in keeping Petrenko, Ezerskiy and Zabeivorota in custody is not based on case materials, personal characteristics of the defendants and gravity of the offense. Thus, the circumstances that earlier served as a basis for the court to select a restriction measure have not ceased to exist, so there is no legal foundation to change the measure of restraint for defendants Petrenko, Ezerskiy and Zabeivorota.
- The ruling of Krasnodar regional court to release Petrenko, Ezerskiy and Zabeivorota from custody poses a threat to the victims’ and witnesses’ life and health. The tangibility of this threat is proven by preliminary investigation materials and the bill of particulars that clearly show what these “people with good conduct certificates” can do.
- On October 19, 2007 S.P.Bogdanovich, federal judge of Lazarevskoe district court of Sochi handled the appeals of defendants Petrenko, Ezerskiy, Zabeivorota against the ruling of Lazarevskoe district court judge M.Y.Rubtsova of 05.09.2007 to conduct a court hearing with the aim to select a restriction measure and stopped the proceedings connected with the appeals of Petrenko, Ezerskiy and Zabeivorota against the Lazarevskoe district court ruling issued by judge Rubtsova.
The judge justified his decision saying that he was guided by article 120 of the RF Constitution that states that judges are independent and are subject only to the F Constitution and Federal law, and also by article 242 of the RF Criminal Procedure Code stating that a criminal case is to be tried by one judge or one composition of the court, and thus, he is to stop further proceedings of the case, because if he makes a decision on the restriction measure for the defendants, he will interfere into the activity of district judge Rubtsova, and this judge Bogdanovich can not permit.
At the same time when judge Bgdanovich stopped the proceedings he, in fact, handled the issue of restriction measure selection, so he did not only breach article 120 of the RF Constitution, but also breached the requirements of article 242 of the RF CPC, this means that he interfered into the activity of district judge Rubtsova.
Apart from that, judge Bogdanovich ignored the requirements of part 6, article 388 of the RF CPC, in accordance with which “rulings of the court of cassation are to be obligatory executed if the case is tried anew”.
- When judge Bogdanovich reviewed the preliminary hearing results alone, in the absence of the victims, their representatives and the prosecutor, he violated part 4, article 108, p.1, art.234, art.236 of the RF CPC.
Moreover, on the 19th of October judge Bogdanovich violated art. 42, 45 of the RF CPC when he did not notify the victims and their representative what time and where the case was going to be reviewed, and did not send them a copy of his ruling.
The victims and their representative found out that the case had been retried on the 25th of October on their own initiative. Although the judge stated in the ruling that it was appealable, he did not give the victims a possibility to make use of their right.
- The decision of the Krasnodar regional court judicial division to free Petrenko, Ezerskiy and Zabeivorota from custody and further decision of federal judge Bogdanovich are not only a flap in the face of the victims, witnesses and the public, but they also derogate the power of judicial authorities.
We think that the Krasnodar regional court judicial division and federal judge Bogdanovich were guided not by law but by their own interests when they made a decision to free people who committed not just a grave crime, but a crime linked with excess of powers.
Apparently, other defendants were not freed from custody only because they submitted no such petition.
- We address you personally and ask you to use your authority and powers to cancel illegal court rulings and restore justice.
We would like to ask you to:
1. submit a supervisory recommendation to cancel the illegal and unjustified court cassational ruling of Krasnodar regional court judicial division dated 10.10.2007 to Krasnodar regional court.
2. submit a supervisory recommendation to cancel the illegal and unjustified court ruling of Lazarevskoe district court Federal Judge Bogdanovich dated 19.10.2007 to Krasnodar regional court.
3. ensure our safety in the conditions when the criminals are set free and there is no restriction measure applied to them.
Please, send your reply to our complaint to the address of Israil Asratovich Melkonyan:
Koltsova street 14, Makopse, Lazarevskoe district, Sochi
(Victims – 15 signatures)
The situation arising from the Krasnodar regional court ruling dated October 10 of this year is really puzzling. At the present moment lawyers from the Committee against torture are trying to analyze it. The Committee is going to make a statement on this issue in the nearest future.