Criminal case against two police officers from Nizhny Novgorod, charged with battery of Igor Kraynov, with regard to illegal sale of drugs in large amount exercising the powers vested in him by virtue of his office is submitted for affirmation to the Prosecutor’s Office. As we have previously reported, Mr Kraynov claims that in September 2019 the police officers beat him up during the apprehension and put a plastic bag with drugs into the back pocket of his jeans. The described events were recorded by the video surveillance camera, which the police officers did not know of.
On 1 October 2019, Igor Kraynov from Nizhny Novgorod applied to the Committee Against Torture for legal assistance. According to him, in the evening of 12 September, at about 20:50, after a meeting his friends, he was getting back to his place of work at Nizhpoligraph in order to collect the personal belongings. Returning home via the dark inner court, Igor saw two men in civilian clothes approaching at him fast, and when they got near they shouted: “Halt, police!” As the attackers did not seem to be the police officers to him, Mr Kraynov ran in the direction of the lightened area. The two men ran after him, one of them stumbled and fell, the second started to shoot in the air, shouting “Halt, or I will shoot!”
After the shooting, Igor realized these men were the police officers, however, he was concerned about possible illegal actions against himself in absence of any witnesses, so he intentionally ran inside the building where video surveillance cameras were installed and where he might also meet some strangers.
Having run inside the building, Kraynov proceeded to the lifts – that’s where the police officers seized him.
“At that moment, a police officer seized my neck and back with both hands, hit me with right knee in the stomach area, having stretched me on the ground, immediately put on the handcuffs and then hit my groin area with his right foot“, – Kraynov recalls.
According to Igor, the police officers hit him periodically in the ribs area, keeping asking him: “Where? Where?”. According to the applicant, he received no less than 10-15 hits within 10 minutes that he spent lying on the floor near the lift. While Kraynov was lying on the ground, some officers were constantly searching through the contents of his pockets, others, who came running with flash lights, checked the premises, as the applicant realized, to search for drugs. There were phrases like: “Check everything here. He could get rid of it”.
Later on, as Kraynov explained, he was lifted and taken to the exit from the court of the building, where one of the officers once again checked the contents of the back left pocket of his jeans, and that’s when Kraynov realized something was planted on him there. After that Igor was put in the car and taken to the police department No.5 for the Department of the Interior of Russia for Nizhny Novgorod, where in one of the rooms his handcuffs were readjusted for the front position and put against the wall with hands up. According to Kraynov, he spent about three hours in this position. During this time, several police officers, who apprehended him previously, hit him in the area of kidneys, as well as insulted and humiliated him.
At about 10.30 p.m., Kraynov’s personal search was performed, during which, in the presence of attesting witnesses, a transparent plastic bag containing white powder was found in the back left pocket of his jeans, as it was identified later, it was a narcotic substance mephedrone in a large quantity (3.184 grams).
A criminal case against Kraynov was initiated under part 2 Article 228 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (“illegal acquisition and storage of narcotic substance in a large quantity without intention to sell”).
Several hours later, at the place of Kraynov’s permanent residence a search was carried out, in the course of which nothing illegal was found.
The police officer who performed Kraynov’s apprehension and search at the police department, told him which legend he should be sticking to: allegedly, Kraynov saw a link to a telegram-channel written on a fence, ordered mephedrone via this channel, went to the address that was given to him, collected the package, went to work, near which he was detained by the police officers.
“I was warned that if I stick to this legend, they would provide the measure of restraint not involving arrest, otherwise I would be brought in under another more serious article of the Criminal Code”, – Igor told.
Kraynov spent one day at the temporary detention cell, and on 14 September travel and behavior restrictions were imposed on him, after that he went home.
Despite continuous dull pain in the right part of the ribs area and corresponding complaints, no medical assistance was rendered to Kraynov either at the police or at the temporary detention cell. Due to the fact that painful feeling lingered on, on 16 September he applied to the first aid station of health center No.50, where he was diagnosed with: “Contusion of the right half of the ribcage”. The applicant describes that for a long time he felt sharp pain in the right side of the ribs area, had difficulties with breathing, it was painful to breathe in deeply.
On 3 October, lawyers with the Committee Against Torture applied to the Investigative Committee on behalf of Igor Kraynov with a crime report.
On 8 October, Senior Investigator of the Investigative Department for the Nizhegorodsky District of Nizhny Novgorod of the Investigative Department of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation for the Nizhny Novgorod region Karina Shilkova initiated criminal proceedings against unidentified police officers based on the fact of the committed crime under item “a” part 3 of Article 286 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (“abuse of office using violence”). On the same day, Igor Kraynov was declared a victim in the case.
Later on, within the framework of this criminal case, charges were brought against three senior investigative officers of the Drug Law Enforcement Department with the Department of Interior of Russia for Nizhny Novrogod Evgeny Sokolov, Aleksey Ivanov, and Nikolay Kostrov.
On 17 June 2020, a criminal case was initiated against police officers Nikolay Kostrov and Evgeny Sokolov with regard to illegal sales of narcotic substance in large amount exercising the powers vested in him by virtue of his office (items “b”, “g” of Part 4 Article 228.1 of the Criminal Code of the RF).
In addition, on the same day, another criminal case was initiated against the same police officers with regard to the fact of them committing a crime under item “v” Part 3 Article 286 of the Criminal Code of the RF (“abuse of office with inflicting grave consequences”). In the opinion of the investigative authorities, criminal prosecution of Igor Kraynov under charges of illegal purchase of a narcotic substance and its storage without intention to sell amounts to grave consequence – this criminal case with regard to Kraynov was dismissed for the fourth time on 11 December 2020.
All the criminal cases against the three police officers were joined in one procedure.
On 26 February 2021, Senior Investigator Karina Shilkova notified lawyer with the Committee Against Torture Yuliya Osipova that this criminal case was submitted to the District Prosecutor’s Office of Nizhny Novgorod for affirmation of the indictment. Human rights defenders and the victim were familiarized with the latest documents of this criminal case.
“The period of investigation on this case amounted to over one and a half years. Of course, it is necessary to take into account all its complexity and the defendants’ behavior who, for example, did not show up for familiarization with the materials of the case, – lawyer with the Committee Against Torture Yuliya Osipova comments. – We expect that in the nearest future the Prosecutor affirms the indictment and that the criminal case with regard to the three police officers will be sent to court for consideration on its merits”.