It is the third time the Balakhna city court tries a case against police officers accused of abuse and excess of official powers.
Thus, already on July 10, 2007 the Balakhna city court of Nizhny Novgorod region chaired by judge Bushmina ruled to stop proceedings against two operational investigators of the Balakhna City Department of Internal Affairs due to reconciliation with the victims. The Balakhna Prosecutor’s Office filed a cassation appeal that was fully sustained and the criminal case was transferred to the Balakhna city court.
You may remember that on 23 November 2007 the Balakhna city court stopped criminal proceedings against officers of the Balakhna City Department of Internal Affairs Konstantin Shapovalov who had committed four crimes under article 285 of the RF Criminal Code, as well as Andrey Sermavbrin and Nikolay Kryukov who had also committed crimes under article 285 of the RF CC (“abuse of official powers”).
After studying the materials of the case against Mr. Sermavbrin, Mr. Kryukov, Mr. Shapovalov we may conclude that these people did not turn themselves in, did not contribute to crime disclosure and denied their guilt.
The abovementioned decision was appealed against by Nizhny Novgorod region Prosecutor V.A.Maksimenko in the order of supervision.
On 5 June 2008 the Nizhny Novgorod regional court presidium cancelled the decision of the Balakhna city court and the case was submitted for a new trial.
Since then some of the victims refused to receive further assistance from the Сommittee against Torture referring to pressure exercised by the accused who are still working in law enforcement agencies, by the way. This happens contrary to the order on dismissal of defendants issued in December 2007 by the regional Administration of Internal Affairs. However, the Balakhna office has been ignoring the order of the regional authorities for 9 months already.
Defendant Nikolay Kryukov died before he could get an equitable judgment.
Yesterday the Balakhna city court questioned Mr. Alexander Marychev, a victim, whose interests are represented by lawyer of the Committee against Torture Irina Migachyova.
In course of the interrogation Mr. Marychev confirmed his statement made during the preliminary investigation, described in detail the tortures applied to him by Mr. Shapovalov. He also specified that in the previous trial he had had to go for reconciliation because the accused had put pressure upon him.
Today the Balakhna city court will continue questioning witnesses under this criminal case. The Committee against torture hopes that at the third attempt the court will succeed in delivering an equitable sentence.