Bashkiria: The case about the murder of local famous sportsman Anton Saveykin by the drug police is closed


11 September 2009

Photo: Anton Saveykin’s car after the shooting initiated by the police.

   Recently the criminal case about the murder of Anton Saveykin, master of sports, by the Drug Control Service was closed by the investigation authorities.

   You may remember that exactly one year ago, on 11 September 2008, officers of the Specials Police Department of the Federal Drug Control Service for the Republic of Bashkiria killed Anton Saveykin during a special operation conducted to detain a certain Mr. P suspected of possession of drugs. Mr. Saveykin by chance happened to be in the area of desultory fire started by the police and was shot. The Drug Control Service staff mistook Mr. Saveykin for Mr. P. By the way, in course of the promiscuous firing in a busy street two bullets also hit a passenger bus and a taxi, and it’s a happy coincidence that there are no more victims.    Anton Saveykin’s parents applied to the Committee against Torture for help upon the fact of their son’s murder.

Having conducted a public investigation, the Bashkirian representation of the Committee against Torture concluded that the state had breached art.2 (right to life), art. 3 (prohibition of tortures) of the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.

Initially, the Investigation Committee prepared three refusals to open a criminal case, but after the CAT appealed against unlawful actions of investigators, on 2 December 2008 criminal proceedings were opened under p.2 art.109 of the RF Criminal Code (reckless homicide due to negligent performance of official duties).

It took eight months to investigate the case. It was evident that instead of an objective investigation the authorities were trying to collect proofs of state agents’ innocence. The investigator performed necessary investigative activities only after the victims filed certain motions, around 40 altogether. Nevertheless, despite the motions that had been sustained, some witnesses were not questioned.  Many facts were not determined and checked.  At the same time heads of the Investigation Administration under the RF Prosecutor’s Office for Bashkiria ignored the victims’ complaints and did nothing to conduct an objective investigation.

Thanks to the efforts of the Committee against Torture, one of the Investigation Committee investigators was held financially liable for an unlawful refusal to start criminal proceedings.

Specialists of the Interregional Committee against Torture find the termination of the case unlawful and ill-founded and have already prepared an appeal against the decision to close the case. 

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