Former police officer who accused FSB of surveillance will be subjected to psychiatric examination


25 December 2018
Pavel Bersenev

Judge of the Sovetsky District Court of Nizhny Novgorod delivered a judgement stating that former police officer Pavel Bersenev, who is a defendant in the case on applying violence against the apprehended woman, should be subjected to psychiatric examination. Sending the former police officer to the psychiatrist, the court took into account the information, provided by the defendant, on secret surveillance that FSB allegedly was performing upon him, which the defendant set forth in detail during the court hearing.

As we have previously reported, Elena Petrova from Nizhny Novgorod (the name and surname are changed) applied to the human rights defenders asking for legal assistance. She reported that she had been violently detained in Nizhny Novgorod karaoke-café and taken to police department No.7 of the Department of the Interior for Nizhny Novgorod. There, according to her, one of the policemen shouted at her during the conversation, hit her in the face and pushed her to the wall.

In her explanation to the human rights defenders Elena reported that at night on 2 April 2017 she was having a rest with friends at the karaoke- café. At some moment, there began a fight between a young man from her company and some other guests on the dance-floor. Those present there tried to stop the fight and some later the policemen arrived to the cafe.

According to Elena, the policemen came to her purposefully and ordered her to come with them to the police department. She asked the policemen to explain to her the reason of their request, but they used physical strength and put her arms behind her back and handcuffed her. Due to that Elena suffered from severe physical pain
Petrova was taken to Police Department No. 7.

According to Elena, in the department she was given some explanations to sign but they did not let her read them. After the detained person refused to sign the papers several times, the policeman quite abruptly changed the tone of the conversation into very aggressive one and said: “If you do not sign it now, I’ll give you some beating!”
– I said that I was not going to sign anything anyway. Immediately after that the policeman hit my face with the sharp of his hand, – remembers Petrova.

In the end, Elena signed the document without reading it. After that she was released.

The woman from Nizhny Novgorod left the police department at about half past four in the morning. On the same day, she came to the trauma center of city hospital No. 34, and on the next day she went to the surgeon at the place of her residence. As a result, the doctor diagnosed that the victim had: “Soft tissue bruise on the face, and on the right and left forearms. Right and left shoulder joints sprain”.

On 10 April 2017 investigator from the investigating department of the Investigation Office of the Investigation Committee of the Russian Federation in Nizhny Novgorod region, Major of Justice Boris Izverov initiated a criminal case against Pavel Bersenev, duty police officer of Police Department No.7 of the Department of the Interior for Nizhny Novgorod, according to p. «а» Part 3 Article 286 of the Criminal Code of the RF (“Abuse of office with the use of violence”).

Preliminary investigation took about two months, and after the Prosecutor’s Office approved the indictment, on 2 June 2017 it was sent to the Sovetsky District Court of Nizhny Novgorod.

On 4 May 2018, judge Ivan Karnavsky declared Pavel Bersenev guilty of the charged crime and sentenced him to 4 years of conditional term.

The convict did not agree to the verdict and appealed against it at the court of appeal.

According to him, Petrova herself assaulted him and inserted a ball pen into his palm. Bersenev claims the video record that shows him hitting the convict in the face (but not showing the episode when she injures him with a pen) to be forged. He also claimed that he was followed by some “unidentified special service”, which installed cameras and listening devices in his office, and scanned his SIM-card when he was taking the tube.

On 6 September of this year, the Nizhny Novgorod Regional Court, having examined the appellate appeal of Pavel Bersenev, quashed the judgment of conviction against him, and sent the case back to the Sovetsky District Court.

In the course of examination of the appellate appeal, the State Prosecutor asked the court to return the criminal case to the court of the first instance due to the fact that the judgment of conviction did not have proper wording for the crime which Bersenev is charged with, as well as due to the fact, that, in the opinion of the State Prosecutor, it was not proven that part of the bodily injuries of the victim were generated as a result of illegal actions of the former police officer.

On 23 October, the Sovetsky District Court of Nizhny Novgorod started the court hearing with regard to charges against Pavel Bersenev.

“Just like the last time, Pavel Bersenev did not plead guilty, – lawyer with the Committee Against Torture Vladimir Smirnov, representing the interests of the victim, comments. – The defendant explained that his persecution is organized by the Federal Security Service of Russia (FSB) in the framework of special operation against him. The victim is the agent of this special service, and the video record of the incident is forged”.

During the court hearing, Bersenev said that the day before the incident with Petrova, the FSB officers installed three surveillance cameras, as well as several bugging devices in his office room. After “successful provocation” with the participation of the apprehended woman from Nizhny Novgorod, the special service was quick to “cover its tracks” and remove these devices, however, something went wrong: there was no time to remove one of the hidden cameras, which was installed in the safe, which is why the safe door was welded hastily.

“There were three cameras, these cameras were removed. And, apparently, they didn’t have time to remove the camera in the safe, and I open the door and one side of the door opens and the other does not. And there was a smell of burning. I take a look and I see the electrode terminals. When I entered the temporary detention cell for the detained for less than three hours, I saw thick organic glass, the cell, right behind the workplace, I see the thin-walled metal locker, and a welding unit behind it”, – that’s how Pavel Bersenev explained the situation during the questioning at court on 11 December of this year.

On 19 December, State Prosecutor Larisa Parshina asked the court to assign a psychological and psychiatric expert examination of Pavel Bersenev. Judge of the Sovetsky District Court of Nizhny Novgorod Vitaliy Bondarenko satisfied this motion.

“Passing the ruling on assigning the expert examination, the court took into account the fact that the defendant had missions in hot zones, where he was injured, as well as the information that he provided on surveillance and monitoring by FSB. Now, the former Nizhny Novgorod police officer will be subjected to examination by the psychiatrist, who will resolve, among other things, the issue of his mental capacity”, – Vladimir Smirnov comments.

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