Yesterday, July 3, 2014, the Supreme Court of the Republic of Bashkortostan upheld the decision of the Leninsky District Court of Ufa city awarding to Olga Karsakova compensation for moral damages inflicted through ineffective investigation of her brother Mikhail Timin in Temporary Detainment Cell (IVS) of Oktyabrsky town ten years ago. The final sum awarded to the claimant amounts to one hundred thousand rubles.
On March 16, 2004 Olga Karsakova, Mikhail Timin’s sister, applied to the Bashkortostan regional branch of the Committee Against Torture seeking help. In the course of conducted social inquiry the human rights defenders learned that Mikhail was detained on March 10, 2004 on suspicion of committing a crime. During his stay in the temporary detainment cell of Oktyabrsky town the health condition of the detainee aggravated. Despite the repeated doctors’ claims about the need of Timin’s urgent hospitalization, not only was not he provided with the timely medical assistance, but on the contrary, he was put in a solitary cell to avoid any further trouble. Early in the morning of March 13 Mikhail died in the cell from another heart attack. Autopsy showed that his heart failed.
Investigation of the circumstances of this case turned out to be extremely ineffective. During ten years the investigative authorities repeatedly refused to initiate criminal proceedings, and these refusals were declared illegal after complaints of the lawyers with the Committee Against Torture, who represented Olga Karsakova’s interests.
After five years, in 2009, the City and the Republican Court held that the successive refusal to initiate criminal proceedings was justified. The lawyers with the Committee Against Torture had to appeal in the exercise of supervisory power in the Supreme Court of the Republic of Bashkortostan for the unlawful decisions to be quashed. At the same time a complaint was lodged with the European Court of Human Rights, which was communicated in 2011.
On February 29, 2012 immediately prior to a visit of the Chairman of the Investigative Committee of RF Aleksandr Bastrykin to the Republic of Bashkortostan, criminal case based on the fact of Timin’s death for an offence under Article 286 (3) of Russian Criminal Code was initiated at last. However, even after that numerous decisions were issued on dismissal of a criminal case on the grounds that no crime had been committed, which were subsequently quashed.
As a result by 2014 the limitation period for prosecution of the guilty party expired, the case was dismissed, and there were sixteen unlawful decisions of the investigative authorities in the human rights defenders «piggybank».
Taking this into account, the lawyers with the Committee Against Torture representing Olga Karsakova’s interests, applied to the Court in order to request the compensation for moral damages inflicted through ineffective investigation.
On March 4, 2014 the Leninsky District Court of Ufa city passed a decision partly satisfying the human rights defenders’ demands. The plaintiff demanded 200 thousand rubles, and the Court awarded half of this sum – 100 thousand rubles.
The Investigative Committee and the Ministry of Finance did not agree with this decision and appealed against it. However, yesterday the civil chamber of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Bashkortostan upheld the decision of the Court of the first instance.
A lawyer with the Bashkortostan regional branch of the Committee Against Torture Dmitry Solodky: «We are satisfied with the decision, but most of all, we are glad that the Russian courts have taken into account the practice of the European Court of Human Rights. We are going to proceed with our work on this case both at a national and international levels: the complaint that we lodged on behalf of Karsakova has already been communicated by the Strasbourg Court, the claim on compensation to Olga for moral damages inflicted by the death of her brother is waiting to be processed. We are going to prove during civil proceedings that Mikhail Timin was not provided medical assistance, and that at the time of his stay in Temporary Detainment Cell he was inflicted grievous bodily harm».