On 12 March 2013 the Nizhegorodskiy District Court of Nizhny Novgorod city’s judge Olga Baikova partially sustained Stanislav Lebedev’s claim filed against the Russian Federation for moral damage inflicted by criminal acts of police officers. The man was subjected to torture in the police in 2009, and subsequently had his kidney removed. The court found the victim’s demand for one million ruble compensation excessive and reduced it to 350 thousand rubles.
(Photo: Stanislav Lebedev)
As we have previously reported, on the night of 7 to 8 March 2009 Stanislav Lebedev was beaten up by police officers of the second police department of the Nizhny Novgorod Avtozavodskiy District Directorate of the Interior. During the battery the police officers so badly damaged one of his kidneys that the next day Stanislav was taken to hospital where he had it removed.
Criminal proceedings basing on the battery were initiated only several months later, after the lawyers with the Nizhny Novgorod office of the INGO “Committee Against Torture” had stepped in to save the situation. Stanislav applied to the Committee seeking legal assistance. In 2010 the Avtozavodskiy District Court of Nizhny Novgorod found the police officers guilty of exceeding official powers and ordered suspended sentences.
The Committee Against Torture lawyers appealed against this too mild sentence to the Court of Cassation – Nizhny Novgorod Regional Court. In November 2010 the court satisfied the cassation complaint and referred the case for reconsideration. After a new trial the Avtozavodskiy District Court sentenced the police officers, Mr. Zhuravlev and Mr. Ladin, to three and four years of imprisonment to be served in general regime (minimum security) penal colony. Both defendants were debarred from law enforcement service for three years.
It must be mentioned that in the proceedings the Ombudsman’s Office for the Nizhny Novgorod Region defended Aleksey Zhuravlev’s interests, requesting, among other things, to ban human rights defenders representing the victims’ interests from taking part in the trial.
A lawyer with the Committee Against Torture, Dmitry Laptev, comments on the court decision of March 12: “I have to state that, unfortunately, our domestic court has once again failed to take into account the legal principles and case-law of the European Court of Human Rights that awards bigger compensation in similar cases. Neither has the court paid enough attention to the fact that due to the injury Stanislav suffers serious health and employment problems because of his weakened immune system. That is why we are determined to appeal against this decision”.