Criminal case is opened based on the fact of abduction and tortures of Aleksandr Novoselov in 2004


09 August 2017

In Nizhny Novgorod, criminal proceedings are initiated based on the fact of abduction and torture of Aleksandr Novoselov by the police officers in 2004. As we have previously reported, Novoselov accuses the police officers of abduction and tortures, by which they forced him to confess of attempted assassination of well-known businessman Oleg Sorokin from Nizhny Novgorod. In the course of pre-investigation check based on Novoselov’s application, the FSB expert pointed out that the video record of what was happening in the woods, which was recorded by the police officers, featured the voice belonging to Sorokin.

(Photo: Aleksandr Novoselov)

The circumstances of this case are as follows. In May 2005 Aleksandr Novoselov applied to the Committee Against Torture seeking legal assistance. According to the applicant, at about 10 a.m. on 27 April 2004, on one of central squares of the city, he was stopped by several men he was not acquainted with. The men dragged him into a car, beat up and drove to a forest in Balakhinskiy district of Nizhny Novgorod region. Shortly after, a white all-road car arrived there, and several men stepped out of it. One of them, as Mr Novoselov insists, looked very much like businessman Sorokin. The men were threatening Aleksandr with a gun and beating him, accusing him of an attempt to murder the businessman. Then a man in camouflage rammed a gun in the applicant’s mouth, making his lower lip bleed. Aleksandr once again denied any involvement in the attempt on the businessman’s life, and the men put a plastic bag over his head, cutting off the air supply. The man looking like Oleg Sorokin said: «Take an axe, let’s cut his leg off». Seeing an axe in one of the men’s hands, Aleksandr felt fear for his life and decided to sign the statements wanted from him. The men also made a video record of him giving confession statements.

The battery resulted in serious bodily injuries. Aleksandr was later diagnosed with contusion of the right kidney, a brain contusion, bruising of the soft tissue of the face and limbs, blood in the urine, a subarachnoid haemorrhage and a fracture of the right ninth rib and other injuries.

Mr Novoselov firstly filed complaint with the Prosecutor’s Office. The investigative body refused to initiate criminal proceedings against the police officers, assertedly basing this decision on the results of a pre-investigation inquiry. The reasoning was the following: Aleksandr Novoselov appeared to have been involved in an operative drill performed by the Directorate of the Interior for Nizhny Novgorod region servicemen, and one of them «was disguised as O.V. Sorokin».

Having failed to attain justice on the national level, on 24 December 2005 lawyers of the Committee Against Torture lodged the relevant application with the European Court of Human Rights on behalf of Aleksandr Novoselov.

On 28 November 2013 the ECHR delivered a ruling on it. The Strasbourg judges established that Novoselov was tortured by the representatives of the state, and the investigation of this fact by the Prosecutor’s Office was “shallow” and “formalistic”. At that time, the European Court obliged Russia to pay 27 500 euro to Novoselov.

Due to the judgment in this case delivered by the European Court for Human Rights, on 12 November 2014 the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation compelled the investigative authorities to restart the proceedings based on the complaint of Aleksandr Novoselov due to new circumstances.

At first the check on the Aleksandr Novoselov’s application was performed by the first department for major cases of the regional investigative department. Later the material was handed over to the third investigative department (located in Nizhny Novgorod) of the Chief Investigative Directorate of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation.

By the present time, the investigators have already issued 16 refusals to initiate criminal proceedings, which were subsequently quashed as illegal. The last “refusal” was quashed by Deputy General Prosecutor Sergey Zaitsev. 

Today it has become known that on 2 August of this year head of the department for law-enforcement officers crimes investigation of the third investigative department (located in Nizhny Novgorod) of the Chief Investigative Directorate of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation Ilya Mikhaylin passed a ruling on initiating criminal proceedings with regard to crimes under item “a” part 2 Article 126 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (“abduction of a person by a group of persons by previous concert”) and item “a” part 3 Article 286 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (“abuse of office using violence”). 

The criminal case is initiated against Roman Makeyev (in 2004 he was senior investigative officer of the interdistrict police department on investigating serial and contract killings under the Chief Directorate of the Department of Interior for the Nizhny Novgorod region), Evgeny Voronin (in 2004 he was the head of this department) and other unidentified persons. 

It is worth noting that in the framework of the pre-investigative check of Novoselov’s complaint “the expert with the FSB of Russia for the Nizhny Novgorod region issued a conclusion No.33 dated 7 April, 2017, where he stated that the conversation, recorded on the video cassette, featuring the investigative experiment, included the voice and speech, belonging to O.V.Sorokin”. 

“For thirteen years Aleksandr Novoselov patiently and persistently is insisting on opening a criminal case and bringing the culprits to responsibility, – lawyer with the Committee for the Prevention of Torture Sergey Babinets, representing his interests, comments. – Unfortunately, the guilty of tortures will not be brought to responsibility, since the period of limitations for that is over. But for the episode with the abduction the investigation has all the chances to bring the case to court. At the present time, we are preparing a number of motions on conducting necessary investigative activities, which we intend to submit to the investigator shortly”.

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