The Novotroitsk City Court of the Orenburg region started judicial proceedings with regard to former Deputy Head of Penal Colony No.3 lieutenant-colonel Evgeny Matytsyn. He is charged with committing a crime under part 1 of Article 285 of the Criminal Code of Russia (“abuse of office”). Maximum punishment, which the defendant might get is four years’ prison term.
The prosecution claims that the criminal actions of Evgeny Matystyn who was supervising security and operational issues, resulted in concealment of severe crimes against person, preventing from their registration for a long time, which led to significant violation of rights and lawful interests of convicts T. and M., as well as to violation of the interests of the state and the society which are protected by the law. So called “blatnye” (tough guys) jabbed T. with a shank, and convict M. was incited to suicide only because they refused to pay for “quiet life”. The victims are sure that Matytsyn not only covered but also inspired these crimes.
This case, to a large extent, is a result of the work of the Committee Against Torture members. In the period from 2014 to 2017, Timur Rakhmatulin, Albina Mudarisova and Vyacheslav Dyundin, who were also members of the Monitoring Commission of the Orenburg region, received numerous complaints from Penal Colony No.3 convicts about battery, money extortion, incitements to suicide through systematic tortures. In addition, lawyers with the Committee Against Torture repeatedly registered with photo cameras bodily injuries on the convicts in the form of hematomas, bruises, extravasations. All the obtained materials were immediately submitted to the Investigative Committee and to the Prosecutor’s Office.
“In September of last year, two years after the first crime report was submitted, the Investigative Committee still initiated the criminal case based on the fact of setting up a criminal group by Evgeny Matytsyn on the territory of the penal institution, with involvement of the Federal Penitentiary Service officers and some convicts, who, according to the ruling on initiating criminal proceedings, were suppressing the psychic of the convicts, intimidated them, imposed the rules and customs of the prison subculture on them, including through battery, – lawyer with the Committee Against Torture Timur Rakhmatulin describes. – At the same time, what are we having at the present moment? The investigative authorities withdrew from criminal prosecution of Evgeny Matystyn in the part of abuse of office with the use of violence or threatening with its use, for which he might have got up to ten years’ prison term. Mr Matytsyn stands trial only for abuse of office, namely, for the fact that he tried to conceal the facts that severe crimes were conducted on the territory of the penal institution. We appealed against the investigator’s ruling on partial withdrawal from criminal prosecution of Evgeny Matytsyn, however, to no avail, because the investigative authorities severed the materials with regard to inflicting bodily injuries to separate materials of checks. However, I think it is possible that the court will use its authority to return the criminal case to the prosecutor to rectify such defects as: absence of the investigative authorities’ evaluation of the data on medical documentation falsifying and destruction by defendant Matytsyn, as well as a number of controversies not eliminated by the investigative authorities”.
All this time and till the present moment, Evgeny Matytsyn has been under travel restrictions. An unusual situation can be observed now in the court room. The defendant is sitting near the window together with his defense lawyer, and the victim T., who continues to serve the sentence, is inside the metal cage.
The court is presided by judge Yuiya Vakulina, the prosecution is supported by the prosecutor’s assistant Evgeny Rozenberg, and lawyer Andrey Sapsay is in charge of defense. Lawyer with the Committee Against Torture Vyacheslav Dyundin is admitted in the case as the victims’ representative. The defendant was against his admittance, but the court dismissed this objection.
From the very start Mr Matytsyn gave the court to understand that he was in no hurry to hear the verdict pronounced. Three court hearings were spent to serve the indictment on him, and two more – to examine his six more ungrounded motions. To the question of the court, whether the charges are clear to him, Matytsyn replied: “No!” and the court gave him time to consult the defense lawyer.
The trial is opened. Another hearing, scheduled for 10 a.m. on 24 September 2019, will be dedicated to the victims’ questioning. Then it will be witnesses turn, after that the materials of ten volumes of the criminal case will be read out. The defendant will testify the last. Such a sequence of the evidence examination is established by the court taking into account the opinions of the parties.
“We will not only continue to represent the interests of the victims in the present criminal case, but we’ll also insist that the Investigative Committee examines all the previously obtained data on violations of the convicts’ rights on the territory of the Novotroitsk Penal Colony, – human rights defender Vyacheslav Dyundin comments. – At the present moment, based on the criminal case materials, we are aware that on the territory of the penal institution the superiors of the colony exerted pressure on medical workers whom they forced to forge the convicts’ medical documents. Consequently, there were a lot more facts of abuse of office than it was established by the investigative authorities”.