An Orenburg courts suspends sentence for tortures


19 December 2011

Yesterday the Promyshlenny district court of Orenburg chaired by judge Nadezhda Levanova convicted two former policemen.   

Operational investigators of the Orenburg Regional Directorate of the Interior Evgeny Kuznetsov and Oleg Moiseyev were found guilty of torturing Orenburg resident Alexander Voroshilov, born in 1991, on August 30, 1009 in order to make him confess to a crime. However, the conviction is only nominal. The court decided that tortures were not such a grave crime to be punished by deprivation of liberty, and sentenced both police officers to 3 years of suspended sentence with a 3-year disqualification from holding public office. When delivering the verdict the court ignored the arguments of the CAT lawyer saying that in the ECtHR practice such punishment of tortures was neither lawful, nor proportionate.

We would like to remind you that A.Voroshilov was detained on 30 August 2009, right after he received a bag with food supplies for an acquaintance serving his sentence in one of Orenburg penal colonies from an intercity bus driver. Having examined the bag, the police found marihuana in a tea box. According to the detainee, the drugs had been simply planted on him. The youngster was taken to the police station where he was beaten and choked by means of a plastic bag for the purpose of obtaining a confession from him.  Later the criminal proceedings against him were terminated.

At first the authorities issued two refusals to instigate criminal proceedings on the allegations of torture. The investigation lasted two years, and the district prosecutor two times returned the  case file to the investigator for elimination of defects.

The suspended sentence is even more surprising, taking into account that during the trial the policemen have not acknowledged their guilt and, consequently, have not repented.

“We disagree with the verdict and will lodge a cassation appeal against it”, – said Vyacheslav Dyundin, head of the Orenburg office of the Committee Against Torture.

We should add that the convicts also disagree with the verdict and intend to appeal against it.

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