Four hundred roubles of compensation for inefficient investigation of the death of a citizen from Nizhny Novgorod at a sobering-up station in 2002


18 July 2016

Judge of the Sovetskiy District Court Andrey Larkov fully satisfied the claims of the lawsuit on compensation of moral damage, submitted by lawyer of the Committee for Prevention of Torture Vladimir Smirnov on behalf of the Anoshin family. The lawsuit was caused by the inefficiency of the investigation of the death of Aleksandr Anoshin from Nizhny Novgorod at sobering-up station in 2002. The inefficient work of the Prosecutor’s Office bodies allowed two police officers to escape the criminal responsibility due to expire of the limitation period for bringing to criminal responsibility.  

(Photo: Aleksandr Anoshin’s widow and children)

As we have previously reported,  on 13 February 2004 Elena Anoshina applied for legal assistance to the Committee Against Torture. According to Elena on 25 July 2002 her brother Aleksandr was taken to a sobering-up station of the Sovetsky District of Nizhny Novgorod, where he died on the same day of strangulation.

According to the detoxication center workers, Anoshin hanged himself, using bed linen. However, the expert examination showed that apart from specific bodily injuries which are observed at strangulation, Aleksandr had a whole range of traumas. The conclusion of the experts was clear – Anoshin could not make them himself. Based on the results of the expert examination, on 3 August 2002 the Prosecutor’s Office initiated the criminal case under part.4 of Article 111 of the Russian Criminal Code («intended grave bodily harm resulted in death by negligence»).

(Photo: Aleksandr Anoshin)

However, the investigation of this criminal case was just middling: no suspects were identified and the case was suspended 13 times. These rulings on suspending were quashed by the bodies of the Prosecutor’s Office and court only after lawyers of the Committee Against Torture submitted the corresponding complaints. The case was put into motion only in 2005 when the human rights defenders lodged a complaint with the European Court of Human Rights.

After that the investigation kicked off: immediately the suspects were identified, they were taken into custody and started to give evidence. In August 2006 the criminal case of police officers Aleksey Maslov, Yevgeny Ageyev and Andrey Antonov was sent to the Sovetsky District Court of Nizhny Novgorod.

As a result on 1 August 2008 the court declared Aleksey Maslov guilty of crimes under part 1 of Article 105 of the Russian Criminal Code («intentional homicide») and part 3 of Article 286 of the Russian Criminal Code («abuse of office») and sentenced him to 14 years of imprisonment in a maximum security penal colony.

Yevgeny Ageyev and Andrey Antonov, charged with crime under part 2 of Article 293 of the Russian Criminal Code («negligence that caused grave bodily harm or death»), were withdrawn from criminal persecution due to expiration of limitation period.

The fact that the state acknowledged the fact of murder of Aleksandr Anoshin by the police officer allowed demanding a compensation of moral damage from the state. On 25 May 2009 judge of the Sovetsky District Court of Nizhny Novgorod Elena Lysova partly sustained the complaints of Aleksandr Anoshin’s sister and three children and compelled the Ministry of Finance of the Nizhny Novgorod region to pay 150 000 rubles to each applicant for moral damage incurred by the crime.

On 9 February 2016 the Nizhegorodskiy Regional court partially upheld the demands of lawyer of the Committee Against Torture Sergey Romanov and awarded his client Irina Demidova one hundred thousand roubles for compensation of moral damage caused by inefficient investigation of her father Aleksandr Anoshin’s death in a medical detoxication center in 2002.

Similar lawsuits were also submitted by human rights defenders in the interests of the victim’s widow and the three other children.

On 15 July of this year judge of the Sovetskiy District Court Andrey Larkov fully satisfied the claims under the lawsuit and awarded Aleksandr Anoshin’s relatives one hundred thousand roubles each for compensation of moral damage caused by inefficient investigation.

«We are definitely satisfied with the court’s ruling. Despite the fact that inefficiency of the conducted investigation was previously evaluated by the Nizhny Novgorod Regional Court with regards to Irina Demidova’s lawsuit, the representatives of the Ministry of Finance and the Prosecutor’s Office continued to insist that the investigation of this case was performed appropriately. The representatives of two different state authorities claimed that since police officer Aleksey Maslov, guilty of Aleksandr Anoshin’s death, got his punishment, everything is be fine with the efficiency of the investigation. However, the court disagreed to such an evaluation and supported the lawsuit. The unconscientious attitude of the investigators to their work with regards to the Anoshin’s murder case have already cost the state five hundred thousand roubles in total», – lawyer of the Committee for Prevention of Torture Vladimir Smirnov emphasized. 

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