Three years’ imprisonment for cruel treatment of a subordinate
Exactly this term of imprisonment was prescribed as the punishment to Aleksandr Shalagin, a deputy chief of the Department for Combating Organized Crime (UBOP) of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Chuvashia. Yesterday, the Moskovsky District Court of Cheboksary City announced the sentence. Mr. Shalagin was found guilty of committing a crime under Article 286, paragraph 3 (a) of the Criminal Code – abuse of official power associated with the use of violence. Besides, the court sentenced him to a subsequent two and a half years’ prohibition on serving in the state agencies.
On 12 May 2006 lieutenant colonel Aleksandr Shalagin in his office beat Leonid Sarri, a police officer. Top officials of the UBOP required their subordinate to give false evidence against one of the officers of the Department for Internal Security of the Central Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs in Privolzhsky Federal District.
At first, the investigation of the criminal case against Mr. Shalagin was entrusted to an investigator of the prosecutor’s office of Chuvashia. However, he was reluctant and the investigation was ineffective. There were certain indications that the case file would be “buried”.
Being aware of that, Leonid Sarri’s lawyer applied to the NN Committee Against Torture. Having examined the matter, lawyers of the Committee managed to make the case file transferred form the prosecutor’s office of Chuvashia to the prosecutor’s office of the Republic of Tatarstan for further investigation.
Owing to the impartial investigation, the case file and the bill of indictment were referred to a court.
However, there appeared new difficulties in the court, when the representative of the local prosecutor’s office did nothing to support the prosecution. He put questions to the prosecution, trying to reveal minute inconsistencies in the evidence. At the same time he took almost no part in questioning witnesses of the defence.
The situation changed only after human rights defenders and law enforcement officials had submitted several statements to prosecutor of Chuvashia V.G. Metelin. There appeared another public prosecutor in the process who performed his duties in full compliance with law, and during the hearing of arguments required three and a half years’ imprisonment for Mr. Shalagin.
In ten days the sentence will enter into force if neither of the parties appeals against it.