Expert: vertebral fracture could not be the result of the fall down the stairs

Событие | Пресс центр

27 February 2017

The Sovetsky District Court of Nizhny Novgorod continues examining the criminal case with regard to two former criminal investigators of police department No 7 of the Directorate of the Internal Affairs for Nizhny Novgorod Aleksey Sokolov and Vadim Volkov charged with article “abuse of office using violence and special equipment”. In the course of another court hearing forensic expert Svetlana Martus confirmed the results of her conclusion, which excludes the theory of the defendants that Dmitriyev sustained bodily injuries when falling down the stairs.

(Vadim Volkov and Aleksey Sokolov)

As we have previously reported, in 2014 the former police officers have already been declared guilty in committing the incriminated crime by the court of the first instance and spent over a year at the Pre-Trial Detention Facility. However, after the appellate appeal against the verdict was examined, they succeeded in reexamination of this case due to technical errors of the court.

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 sentenced them to five years prison term. Their defense team was not satisfied with the court decision and on 4 March 2015 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.

On 9 September 2015 the Sovetskiy District Court of Nizhny Novgorod once again returned to examining this criminal case. 

In the course of the last court hearing forensic expert Svetlana Martus confirmed the results of her conclusion, which excludes the theory of the defendants that Dmitriyev sustained bodily injuries when falling down the stairs.

– The repeated court hearing lingered on for one year and a half and became another serious challenge for Aleksandr Dmitriyev who is a disabled person of group II and for whom it is physically and morally difficult to participate in the court proceedings once again, – lawyer of the Committee for the Prevention of Torture Sergey Romanov, representing his interests in court. – During the whole court hearing there were repeated problems with providing witnesses’ court appearance, however, we have entered final straight and on 2 March we are expecting the verdict to be pronounced.