Examination of the criminal case on the police torture in 2011 is underway in Nizhny Novgorod


28 January 2016

Sovetskiy District Court of Nizhny Novgorod continues to examine the criminal case against former police officers of Police Department No. 7 for Nizhny Novgorod Aleksey Sokolov and Vadim Volkov, charged under Article on «exceeding official powers with use of violence and special equipment». As we have previously reported, in 2014 the former police officers were declared guilty of committing the crime by the court of the first instance and spent over a year in a detention center. However, after the appeal against the verdict, they managed to succeed in having this case reviewed due to technical mistakes of the court.

(Vadim Volkov and Aleksey Sokolov)

We would like to remind you of the circumstances of the case in examination. On 6 March 2011 Aleksandr Dmitriyev was unlawfully apprehended by the police officers of the Sovetsky District of Nizhny Novgorod on suspicion of theft, which he, as it was revealed later, did not commit. After his «conversation» with the criminal investigation department officers Dmitriyev signed a confession statement. Vertebral fracture and inpatient admission became other sad results of «enhanced interrogation» of Aleksandr.

According to Dmitriyev, who applied to the Committee Against Torture for legal assistance, the policemen were beating him and used the method of torture known as «envelope» (victim’s hands are twisted behind the back and handcuffed, legs are tied together and with the hands so that the victim is «folded» like an envelope).

(Aleksandr Dmitriyev)

On 13 April 2011 criminal proceedings were initiated following Aleksandr’s ill-treatment complaint, but on 6 October 2011 the case was closed on the grounds that no crime had been committed. However, due to the efforts of the Committee Against Torture which called the media attention to this case, on 10 May 2012 the case was reopened and transferred to the first department of the Nizhny Novgorod region Investigative Committee Investigative Department.

As a result on 23 January 2014 the Sovetskiy District Court of Nizhny Novgorod pronounced the guilty verdict for two former police officers with Police Department no. 7 Aleksey Sokolov and Vadim Volkov and convicted them to five years prison term. Their defense team was not satisfied with the court decision and on 4 March of this year filed an appellate complaint against it. The convicts, who spent over a year in the detention center, were released in the court room, and their measure of restraint was changed to the house imprisonment, and the case was sent back for reexamination to the district court.

«Examination of the criminal case on its merits started on 9 September of last year. Over ten hearings were conducted during this period, during which the court heard evidence of the victim and the witnesses. I would like to point out that in some cases there were some problems (sometimes they occur still) with assuring court appearance of the defendants’ former colleagues, some of them had even to be taken to court by enforcement, – lawyer of the Committee for Prevention of Torture Sergey Romanov, representing the interests of Aleksandr Dmitriyev in court, emphasizes. – In the course of the yesterday hearing former head of the police department of the Sovetskiy District Igor Kornilov was questioned, who stated that his subordinates did not exceed their authority in their work and expressed pity that no criminal charges were brought against Dmitriyev».

The next court hearing will take place on 8 February 2016. 

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