Former police major Kuzmenkov is awarded 3.5 years of imprisonment for torturing a Nizhny Novgorod resident


28 April 2012

On April 28, 2012 judge Olga Podgornova from the Moskovsky district court of Nizhny Novgorod has pronounced the verdict for former operative investigator, police major Sergey Kuzmenkov charged with abuse of office with violent treatment and use of special devices.

(Photo: Pavel Guryanov is satisfied with the judgment)

The court has held that Kuzmenkov, being intoxicated, lost his bag with his police ID in a café in the Moskovsky district of Nizhny Novgorod. Once he became aware of the loss, the law enforcer decided that his documents had been stolen. Suspicion fell on Pavel Guryanov whom the officer decided to bring out in the open on his own. The official investigation and public investigation carried out by the CAT established that on July 1, 2010 the police had detained Pavel Guryanov at his home. He was taken to the 4th police department of the Nizhny Novgorod Directorate of the Interior and cruelly beaten there. Guryanov spent three days in hospital and was released with the following diagnosis: posttraumatic compressive-ischemic polyneuropathy of shinbone nerves of both lower extremities.

Victim’s representatives – CAT lawyers who have been supporting Pavel in his litigation find this judgment lawful, motivated and consistent with the ECtHR practice which demands de facto deprivation of liberty as punishment for tortures.

However, there are also negative aspects worth noting. Although the law enforcer was charged with a criminal offense, he was not dismissed from the police, but even qualified to continue his service in the rank of major. Besides, the investigative authorities have not yet identified other agents who tortured Guryanov together with Kuzmenkov.

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