Judge of the Avtozavodsky District Court of Nizhny Novgorod delayed the examination of the criminal case on its merits concerning six officers of the Criminal Investigation Office who were accused of several episodes of exceeding of authority and an episode of illegal entry which happened in 2012. Once again the judge made this decision due to extended illness of one of the defendants’ lawyers. The court gave the defense team ten days for search of a new lawyer.
(Source of photo: http://static.videocore.tv)
As we have already reported, on 27 March 2012 Nizami Gasanov and Elshan Zamanov applied to Nizhny Novgorod branch of the Committee Against Torture, who informed that the police officers of police center No.1 of the Department of Interior for Nizhny Novgorod illegally used force against them.
It took two and a half years for the investigators of the Investigative Committee to bring this case to court.
«Such an extended official investigation is explained by a number of difficulties which the investigators had to face, – emphasized the lawyer of INGO «The Committee Against Torture» Aleksey Matasov who represents the interests of the victims. – This relates to the whole group of the accused, involved in different episodes, and a large number of the witnesses and the aggressive actions of the regional Chief Directorate of Interior which resulted in suspension of one of the investigators from the case. Despite all this, the investigators of the first department of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation for Nizhny Novgorod region have completed the preliminary investigation, having collected a substantial body of evidence. The indictment is over 1400 sheets».
From the very start of the investigation the accused performed active actions for their defense and were applying pressure on the progress of the investigation, different information and administrative capabilities were implemented for this purpose.
For example, the accused succeeded in suspension of the investigator Evgeny Khrokalo from the case, the one who initiated it. However, after that the materials were submitted to the regional department of the Investigative Committee, an investigative group comprising of three investigators was formed. Its Head Yury Yelantsev managed to withhold the pressure of the masters of Avtozavodsky police officers and the case was brought to the court.
«Of course, we are all human and sometimes we get ill. But the process got delayed over and over again and the judge made a justified decision to change the lawyer. Now the accused Andrey Balandin should conclude an agreement with another lawyer, and if he fails to do so, the state will provide for an appointed counsel», – commented the Head of the Investigative Committee of Nizhny Novgorod branch of INGO «The Committee Against Torture» Dmitry Utukin, who represented the interests of the victims.
Next meeting is scheduled for 23 December 2014 at 9 hours 30 minutes.