Fifteen thousand roubles as compensation for four years of illegal criminal prosecution

Событие | Пресс центр

06 September 2016

Today judge of the Leninsk District Court Anna Vaulina partially upheld the claims under Aleksey Sukhov’s lawsuit to the Ministry of Interior of Russia asking to award a compensation for moral damage caused by the illegal criminal prosecution. Albina Mudarisova, the lawyer of the Committee for the Prevention of Torture, representing the victim’s interests, considers the amount of the awarded compensation to be disproportionate to the level and character of Aleksey Sukhov’s moral suffering and she is planning to appeal against this court ruling.

(In the photo: Aleksey Sukhov and Albina Mudarisova)

The background of this case is as follows. On 11 April 2012 Aleksey Sukhov, a citizen of Orenburg region applied to Orenburg branch of “The Committee Against Torture” for legal assistance. He told human rights defenders that on 29 August 2011 he was coming back home after his driving school training in Prigorodny settlement. Not far from home he was stopped by two police officers who decided to search Aleksey. According to Sukhov, during the search he saw that the police officers were trying to plaint some marijuana on him – Aleksey started to express his indignation with the unlawful actions of the law-enforcement officers, trying to attract the attention of the passers-by. However, shouting did not help and the police officers severely beat the man up, after that they took him to the local cemetery, promising that they would «bury him right there».

After these threats Sukhov was taken to the police department and a criminal case was initiated against him under part 1 of Article 228 of the Russian Criminal Code (illegal purchase and storage of a large quantity of drug substance without the intention to sell). However, later on this criminal case was dismissed for absence of a criminal act.

As a result of «communication» with the police officers Aleksey Sukhov got bodily injuries in the form of closed craniocerebral injury, cerebral concussion, haematoma of soft tissues, a bruise in the eye area, subconjunctival hemorrhage of the left eye, scratch marks on the body.

It was decided to turn for legal support to the human rights defenders who got involved in the case in the capacity of Sukhov’s representatives. After a long period of lodging a complaint against the inaction of the investigative authority officers, in May 2014, at last, the criminal case based on Sukhov’s complaint, was initiated and after investigation was taken to court.

(Aleksey Reshetilov and Konstantin Sinyagin)

On 28 October 2015 judge of the Leninsky District Court of Orenburg Aleksey Konnov passed a judgment of conviction with regard to two former officers of extradepartmental security service Aleksey Reshetilov and Konstantin Sinyagin. They were declared guilty of committing a crime under part «a» Article 286 of the Criminal Code of the RF («abuse of office performed using violence») and sentenced to three and a half years of prison term each to be served at the penal colony of standard regime.  

The convicts expressing their disagreement to the court verdict submitted appellate complaints against the court decision, but on 26 February of this year the judicial panel of the Orenburg Regional Court upheld the verdict of the court of the first instance.  

After the verdict has come into its legal force lawyer of the Committee for Prevention of Torture Albina Mudarisova, representing the interests of Aleksey Sukhov, submitted a lawsuit for compensation of moral damage inflicted to Aleksey Sukhov by illegal actions of the former police officers. The first lawsuit related to the compensation of moral damage caused by the crime of former policemen who inflicted bodily injuries to Sukhov. Then the Leninskiy District Court of Orenburg Anna Vaulina partially upheld the claims under the lawsuit and awarded to Aleksey Sukhov a compensation of moral damage in the amount of one hundred and thirty thousand roubles instead of the claimed sum of two million roubles. At present time the court decision is at the stage of being appealed.

The second lawsuit related to the compensation of moral damage inflicted to Sukhov by illegal criminal prosecution. Today the Leninskiy District Court again partially upheld the claims under the lawsuit and awarded to Aleksey Sukhov a compensation of moral damage in the amount of fifteen thousand roubles instead of the claimed sum of two hundedn thousand roubles.

Albina Mudarisova point oust: “Of course, we disagree with such pitiful compensation and we are going to appeal against this decision of the court. Not only Sukhov was severely beaten by the police officers, but he was criminally prosecuted when they planted drugs on him, and as a result Aleksey was under the pressure of criminal prosecution as a suspect for four years. And only after the investigation collected evidence of guilt of the police officers who tortured Sukhov in order to improve their crime detection rate, his criminal case was closed based on rehabilitating grounds”.