A criminal case is initiated with regard to the fact of the battery of Igor Tarasov from Novotroitsk in March 2018. Despite the fact that the victim applied to investigative authorities immediately after the incident, the criminal case was opened only in two years, after the material of the check of the battery complaint was transferred to the department of major cases and applications to the European Court of Human Rights.
On 6 April 2018, Igor Tarasov from Novotroitsk of the Orenburg region applied to the Committee Against Torture for legal assistance. He told human rights defenders that close after midnight in the night from 30 to 31 March 2018, an unknown man started to knock on his double entrance door and demanded to open the doors. After the unknown man refused to introduce himself, Igor returned to his apartment without opening the door. Tarasov thought that the visitor left.
However, sometime later, the same man returned, only this time he introduced himself as a police officer and demanded to open the door.
Tarasov half-opened the metal door of the double entrance, after that the visitor violently pulled it and started to beat up Igor: “He hit me in the face with his fist, due to that I fell on the floor and contused my spine as well as my head. I managed to stand up and told him: “What are you doing, go away!” I told my wife to call the police. At that moment the attacker hit me several times with his arms at the area of my head. The police officer did not introduce himself, nor did he produce any ID. He was higher than me and obviously, stronger. I was in the state of shock and tried to protect myself with my hands. I managed to run out to the stairway tower and pushed the call button of the opposite section several times, but no one came out. At that time the police officer was calling and reporting some Aleksey about me: “He is calling the police squad”.
Igor managed to return to his apartment, where his wife Anastasia was together with his two small kids, and none of them were asleep. The police officer, still without introducing himself, informed Igor’s wife that the aim of his visit was supervision of Igor, as he had been a convict previously, and according to the court ruling, he was under supervision of the law-enforcement agencies. To this claim of the police officer Igor Tarasov who, indeed, he had been convicted before, answered that, according to the court ruling he was inflicted with only one limitation – a compulsory appearance to the law-enforcement agency once a month, and the actions of the police officer who woke up his family at night, were illegal, just as applying physical force against him was, too.
The police officer left the stair well. Igor felt bad and called for an ambulance which arrived practically simultaneously with the police squad which Tarasov’s wife called. Despite the fact that Igor Tarasov had hematomas and blood on his face, the medics did not hospitalize Igor.
The arrived police officers turned out to be from the same squad which the police officer who beat him up was. They tried to convince Tarasov not to submit any applications, tried to justify the actions of their colleague saying that he was doing his duty, namely, performing administrative supervision.
However, Igor insisted to be taken to the police department. There he submitted a crime report, after that the police officers took the victim to the medical institution, but not for registering his injuries, but to check the presence of alcohol in Tarasov’s blood (none was found).
On 2 April 2018, Igor passed medical forensic examination. The expert established that Tarasov had bodily injuries in the following form: “Contusion of soft tissues in the parietal region on the left, extravasations on the lids of the right eye, in the right zygomatic region, on the chin on the right, left cheek, on the chin on the right, in the frontal region on the left, in the medium one-third of the right forearm, bruises on the palm surface of the right hand of the area of elevation of 1 finger, which could have been obtained from the impact of solid blunt objects, possibly, in the timeline and under the circumstances indicated in the description”.
Realizing that the complaint against the actions of the police officer, submitted to the department where he works, would hardly produce an effect, on 2 April 2018, Tarasov applied with the similar crime report to the Investigative Department for Novotroitsky Investigative Department of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation for the Orenburg region.
On 2 May 2018, investigator of this department Mikhail Shnyakin issued the first illegal ruling refusing to initiate criminal proceedings. The police officer who was questioned in the framework of the pre-investigative check told that he indeed came to Tarasov in the night from 30 to 31 March 2018. According to the police officer’s theory, a corpse was found in this area, that is why he decided to pay a visit to previously convicted Tarasov, who, allegedly, kicked him in the stomach immediately after he opened the door, and then the fight started.
However, no criminal case either with regard to Tarasov or with regard to the police officer was opened.
In total, for two years of pre-investigative check eleven illegal refusals to initiate criminal proceedings were issued, the major part of which was declared illegal only after human rights defenders submitted complaints to the investigators’ superiors, the Prosecutor’s Office of to the court.
In March 2019, lawyers with the Committee Against Torture submitted an application on behalf of Igor Tarasov to the European Court of Human Rights.
In May 2020, due to ineffective work on Tarasov’s complaint about the battery by the police officer, the material of the check was transferred from the Novotroitsky Department to the first department for major cases investigation with the Investigative Department of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation for the Orenburg region.
On 6 July 2020, investigator of this department Gaik Saakyan initiated a criminal case under the elements of crime provided by item “a” of Article 286 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (“abuse of office using violence”).
Today, lawyers with the Committee Against Torture received a copy of this ruling.
“We are certainly satisfied with the fact that the criminal case is initiated, finally. It is a pity that it took two years of appealing against the Novotroitsk investigators’ illegal actions, applying to the European Court of Human Rights, as well as transferring the materials to the first department for major cases investigation in order to do that. In the nearest future we will be involved in the criminal case in the capacity of the victim’s representatives and will insist that the investigators conduct an effective investigation”, – lawyer with the Committee Against Torture Timur Rakhmatulin comments.