Chief Investigatory Directorate of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation has commenced to examine the circumstances of Sergey Pestov's death


05 October 2015

As it has become known to human rights defenders of the Committee for Prevention of Torture, investigator fоr major cases of the Chief Investigative Directorate of the Investigative Committee of the RF for the Moscow region Vagiz Bekyashev was commissioned to investigate the death of musician Sergey Pestov. According to the investigator, he has already twice visited Dubna, where he examined the scene of crime, as well as questioned the police officers who took part in apprehension and questioning of Sergey Pestov. Human rights defenders, however, express bewilderment that no criminal case in relation to the  musician’s death has been opened yet.  

As we have previosuly reported, on 10 September 2015 Irina Pestova from Dubna, Moscow region, applied to INGO «The Committee for Prevention of Torture» for legal assistance. She told the human rights defenders that on 4 September the police officers apprehended her husband Sergey Pestov in his garage and took him to the local police department. Next morning after the apprehension Sergey fell into a coma, on the way to the hospital he died without regaining consciousness.

According to the evidence witnesses, the police officers acted in a rather brutal manner, applied special equipment and physical force, although no one showed any sign of resistance. Acquaintances saw that Sergey was hit several times against the back of his neck, after that he had a nosebleed.

Human rights defenders managed to establish that Sergey was seen for the last time by his acquaintances on September 5 at 4 a.m. when he was sitting on a bench in the Department of Interior for Dubna town. Seven hours later emergency paramedics found him in the state of third degree coma in the same police department.

The Investigative Department of the Investigative Committee of the RF for Dubna started a pre-investigation check of this case, however, on 18 September the materials were submitted to the Chief Investigative Directorate of the Investigative Committee of the RF for the Moscow region. In the course of a in-person meeting with Irina Pestova, a widow of the deceased musician, and lawyer of the Committee for Prevention of Torture Dmitry Piskounov, the investigator for major cases Vagiz Bekyashev reported that in the nearest future he was not going to initiate criminal proceedings, since he wanted to wait for the results of the forensic medical examination. In addition, the investigator informed that he was going to commission a forensic medical examination which would provide more insight into the factors that led to the musician’s death.  

Bekyashev also told about the opinion of the police officers. According to their version of events, Sergey Pestov was released together with the rest of the detainees on the night from 4 to 5 of September, and only in the morning of 5 September Pestov came on his own to the police department for interrogation. Allegedly only then, in the course of this morning interrogation, Sergey suddenly felt bad and the police officers called ambulance, which transported him from the police department in the state of third-order coma.

Lawyer of the Committee for Prevention of Torture Dmitry Piskunov, representing the interests of Irina Pestova: «We are glad that now Chief Investigative Directorate is in charge of investigation of Sergey Pestov’s death, and not the local investigative department.  Nevertheless, it is rather strange that the investigator refuses to initiate the criminal case based on the fact of the musician’s death. In the majority of cases one single event like this is enough to initiate criminal proceedings without indicating the specific list of the suspects. Even if we take into account the absence of medical forensic examination in the materials of the inspection, nevertheless, there are people who saw the body of Sergey Pestov, and they say that bodily injuries were noticeable on his face. Thus, the investigation, in our view, is missing the opportunity to perform the necessary investigative activities at an early stage, the ones which are impossible at the stage of the pre-investigation check».

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