For the tenth time, the Investigative Committee refused to open a criminal case on tortures of the three men who incriminated themselves in double murder


30 November 2020

For the tenth time, the Investigative Committee’s investigators refused to open a criminal case based on complaints about tortures by the three men who incriminated themselves in the murder of the Orenburg entrepreneur and his underage son. Despite the fact that back in 2018 the investigative authorities established non-involvement of all the three men in the double murder, the criminal case has not been opened until now. During the familiarization with the material of the check at the Investigative Committee, the Committee Against Torture’s lawyers were made to sign a gagging order. Human rights defenders will appeal against this dismissal and continue to insist on opening the criminal case.

As we have previously reported, on 1 June 2018, Mushfig Shykhaliyev and Ramin Shakhmarov from Abdulino town applied to the Orenburg branch of the Committee Against Torture for legal assistance. The men reported that on 7 March 2018 they were apprehended one by one by the police officers, who, without explaining the reasons, delivered them to Orenburg to the building of the Department of the Interior of Russia for the Orenburg region, located at address: Dubitskogo St., 2.

There, according to the applicants, the police officers tortured them, demanding that they confessed of murder of the entrepreneur from Orenburg and his underage son. Later on, at Pre-trial Detention Facility, Mushfig Shykhaliyev wrote a full confession. According to him, he wrote it after one of the members of administrative staff made a hint to him that he might be raped if he persisted.

However, on 17 March 2018, Shykhaliyev and Shakhmarov were released from custody due to the absence of the evidence of their guilt – the alibi, which they initially reported, was confirmed: at the time of the murder of the businessman and his son they were in Bashkiria, busy with purchasing some meat.

In the end of July 2019, the third person, involved in this case, former defendant Mushfig Guliyev, applied to the Committee Against Torture. He told human rights defenders that he was forced to bear false witness against Shykhaliyev and Shakhmarov with regard to the murder of the entrepreneur from Orenburg and his underage son.

Two months after the apprehension he was also released from custody – his alibi was confirmed by numerous witnesses. However, he was transferred from the Pre-Trial Detention Facility to the special agency for temporary detention of foreign citizens, because while he was in custody, the period when he was authorized for temporary stay on the territory of Russia, expired. Having become a hostage of the developed situation, he was forced to wait for ten more months to be forcefully deported from Russia.

He resolved upon turning to human rights defenders only after he had left the territory of Russia.

On 6 June 2018, human rights defenders applied to the Investigative Committee on behalf of Shakhmarov and Shykhaliev with a report on tortures applied against them. On 29 June, the criminal case with regard to the fact of abuse of office was opened, however, as early as on 2 July this ruling was quashed by the Prosecutor’s office.

Starting from 3 July 2018, the investigators of the Third Investigative Department of the Investigative Committee of the RF based in Nizhny Novgorod started checking the torture complaint. By the present time, the investigators issued three rulings refusing to initiate criminal proceedings.

In February 2020, human rights defenders ensured that the checking related to these torture complaints is resumed, but this time – at the special department of the Investigative Committee dedicated to law-enforcement officers’ crimes.

Investigator with the special department Evgeny Kiselev was actively performing checking activities until the material of the check was handed over to another investigator of the same department, Pavel Zelenkov, who, on 12 October, issued the tenth refusal to open a criminal case.

On 13 November, lawyers with the Committee Against Torture applied to the special department with a request to familiarize themselves with the material of the check. After familiarization, the human rights defenders were made to sign a gagging order, without any prior notification.

“We shall continue to insist on opening a criminal case and will be appealing against the investigator’s dismissal, – lawyer with the Committee Against Torture Albina Mudarisova comments. – I think that the gagging order was given to us due to reluctance of the investigative authorities to make the details of the conducted check known to public”.

As we have previously reported, on 12 May 2020, the Orenburg Regional Court upheld the ruling of the district court on awarding one hundred thousand rubles to Ramin Shakhmarov as a compensation for moral damage related to ungrounded suspicion of murder of the entrepreneur from Orenburg and his underage son.

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