Investigator of the first department for major cases of the Investigative Department of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation for the Orenburg region Dmitry Gryazev has once again issued a ruling on dismissal of a criminal case based on the fact of Vladimir Prytkov’s tortures at the Orenburg police department in 2010. Mr Gryazev was satisfied with inconsistent and highly controversial evidence obtained from law-enforcement officers, who failed to explain how traces of blood were found in their office and how Prytkov received bodily injuries after his stay at the police department. Lawyers with the Committee Against Torture will appeal against this ruling.
As we have previously reported, on 19 July 2010 Vladimir Prytkov from Orenburg applied to the regional branch of the Committee Against Torture for legal assistance – the man claimed that he was severely beaten up by the policemen from 2nd Operational Investigation Unit of the Orenburg Regional Directorate of the Interior.
As Vladimir told the human right defenders, on 19 May 2010 he was detained at work and delivered to the 2nd Operational Investigation Unit of the Orenburg Regional Directorate of the Interior. There, according to Prytkov, he was beaten and tortured for about four hours with the purpose of making him confess that he together with his brother was involved in car theft, or to pay a bribe so that he would be only a witness in this case, unlike his brother. Having failed to obtain a confession from Vladimir, the police had to release him.
After such «conversation» with the representatives of the authorities Vladimir went straight to the city hospital No.1, and after his condition grew worse he was urgently hospitalized in the city clinical hospital named after N.I.Pirogov. The following diagnosis was established: «combined craniocerebral injury, brain contusion of medium severity, subarachnoid hemorrhage, contusions of soft tissues of the head, chest contusion, arterial hypertension of 1 and 2 degree. Asthenoneurotic syndrome».
After he was released from the Pirogov hospital as an in-patient Vladimir was undergoing out-patient treatment in its outpatient clinic for three months.
On 28 June 2010 Prytkov submitted a crime report upon the fact of police abuse to investigative authorities, however for over a year the investigators failed to open a criminal case. Only on 16 November 2011 it was opened on the grounds of evidence of a crime under Article 286 (3) (a) of the Criminal Code of Russia (exceeding official powers with the use of violence).
Despite numerous motions for conducting investigating actions and complaints against inaction of the investigative authorities, submitted by the human rights defenders on behalf of Prytkov, the case was repeatedly dismissed on the grounds that no crime had been committed.
During several years lawyers with the Committee Against Torture insisted on conducting face-to-face confrontations with the police officers whom Mr Prytkov accuses of torture. In December of last year investigator Dmitry Gryazev at last satisfied human rights defenders’ motion and performed face-to-face confrontations between the victim and the operational personnel.
Lawyer with the Committee Against Torture Albina Mudarisova, representing the victim’s interests, describes how this investigative activity went: “In the course of face-to-face confrontations the police officers failed to explain how the blood came about in their office, the blood which, according to expert examination, may belong to Mr Prytkov. This blood falls into rare fourth category with negative Rh factor, same as Prytkov’s blood.
The police officers also failed to explain why the applicant, who was delivered at the police department in full health, after communication with them had to call for medical assistance.
Apart from that, we were interested why law-enforcement officers, having no instructions from the investigator to conduct interrogation of Prytkov, delivered him to the police department to perform this investigative activity. One of the police officers responded: «Just like that”, another kept claiming that he had had such an instruction. However, in accordance with the evidence, obtained from the investigator himself, he did not give instruction to interrogate Prytkov in 2010.
The police officers also got confused in the circumstances of Prytkov’s delivery to the police: some said that he looked for some excuse to avoid going to the police department and was very nervous about the whole trip, the others gave evidence to the contrary, that Prytkov asked to pick him up from work and was eager for some friendly chat.
During the face-to-face confrontation, the police officers were trying to divert the progress of the investigative activity sideways, providing a lot of details which have nothing to do with the investigation. One of the police officers talked such nonsense as that, allegedly, Prytkov proposed to the police officers to watch some porn on his phone at the police department. Taking into account that in 2010 Prytkov had a feature push-button phone Nokia 1110, which is not designed for video, it is rather hard to believe that.
However, investigator Dmitry Gryazev was satisfied with explanations of the police officers and passed a dismissal of the criminal case. Definitely, we do not agree to this ruling and will appeal against it at the Prosecutor’s Office”.
It is worth noting that on 7 November 2014, as a result of investigative bodies’ obvious lack of desire to investigate a criminal case based on the fact of Vladimir Prytkov’s police torture, human rights defenders were forced to apply to the European Court of Human Rights.