The Sovetsky District Court of Orsk of the Orenburg region continues to examine a criminal case against former superior of local Pre-Trial Detention Facility No.2 Evgeny Schnaider and former head of the operational department of this establishment Vitaly Simonenko. They are charged with abuse of office using violence against the three convicts, one of them, Vladimir Tkachuk, subsequently died of injuries. Yesterday, during the interrogation convict Simonenko claimed that Schnaider was defaming him, providing false information about him committing the crime.
Lawyer with the Committee Against Torture Vyacheslav Dyundin, representing the deceased convict’s mother’s interests, comments on the progress of the trial:
“Last week former head of Pre-Trial Detention Facility No.2 Evgeny Schnaider was interrogated. During the preliminary investigation, he confessed of having hit convict Vladimir Tkachuk several times in the area of arms and chest. He repeated the same confession at court. On the other hand, during the interrogation at court Mr Schnaider’s answers to the questions of the trial participants and the judge were rather lengthy, mixed with his reflections, justifying his actions by their feasibility. For example, he tried to justify the fact that the convicts were illegally put into the punitive confinement by saying that the convicts were allegedly punished for misdeeds which they committed before. At the same time, former superior of the Pre-Trial Detention Facility failed to mention a single document confirming the fact of violations of custodial rules by the convicts. Mr Schnaider just constantly referred to some operational data, which neither the court nor other trial participants saw. That is why, in the end, feasibility of Schnaider’s actions was not confirmed by anything apart from his words.
Yesterday other defendant, Vitaly Simonenko, was interrogated. Mr Simonenko talked measuredly, calmly, in well-learned phrases. He did not plead guilty, having explained that on the day of the crime he went home from work at 10.30 a.m. and was not present at the scene of crime. He failed to fully explain the motive which Mr Schaider allegedly had to defame him, however, he provided some interesting data which I think necessary to quote word for word: “After the investigator apprehended us he organized a meeting between Schnaider and myself. Schnaider asked me: “What made you do it?” I answered: “What it has to do with me?” He: “Because the investigator is aware of other crimes: concealing jail-breaks, providing visits for money…”. That is why Schnaider is defaming me”. Neither Schnaider, nor his defense lawyer responded to this allegation.
At the same time, during the court hearing the participation of Vitaly Simonenko in the battery of Vladimir Tkachuk was confirmed by five witnesses, including the victims. However, Vitaly Simonenko submitted a motion concerning questioning two more witnesses who, according to his claims and hopes, could confirm his alibi. The court satisfied Vitaly Simonenko’s motion to question the declared defense witnesses involving the confinement officers. Subpoenas will be sent to them.
The next court hearing is scheduled for 8 February 2018”.
As we have previously reported, mother of convicted Vladimir Tkachuk Nadezhda Chertovskikh applied to interregional non-governmental organization «Committee Against Torture» for legal assistance in September 2013. She informed human rights defenders that on 5 September she received a call from an unknown person who told her that her son had been beaten to death by the officers of Pre-Trial Detention Facility No.2 in Orsk, Orenburg region, where Tkachuk was seconded from Penal-Colony No 11 to serve his sentence as a household worker.