Four years of the investigative authorities' inaction - not an adequate cause for compensation for moral damage


27 April 2015

That was the conclusion the judge of the Leninsky District Court of Grozny Akhmed Bushuyev came to on the following Friday, 23 April 2015. He dismissed the claim of Khusen Vangashev seeking compensation for moral damage inflicted to him by the Investigative Committee’s extremely inefficient investigation of his complaint of abduction and torture.

(Khusen Vangashev)

As we have previously reported, on 9 December 2011 a woman applied to the Joint Mobile Group (JMG) of human rights defenders and told that her 22-year old son Khusen had to be taken to hospital after he was apprehended, detained and tortured in the basement for several days by unidentified law-enforcement officers. Later the JMG members met Vangashev in person while he was undergoing treatment in hospital: Khusen could not walk or sit, and could barely talk. He confirmed that he was abducted by armed men in camouflage: they were beating him up, torturing him with electricity, demanding to confess of providing the militants with food supplies. Having yield to torture the guy agreed to sign any documents. A month after the abduction Khusen could not walk. As a result he listened to his verdict lying on the hospital bed in a ward. 

Immediately after the application to the JMG the lawyers filed a report to different authorities on the crime committed by unidentified police officers against Vangashev. However, the human rights defenders once again had to face the reluctance of the investigative authorities to investigate the case in which the police officers might be involved. For four years of conducting pre-trial investigation nine refusals to initiate criminal proceedings were issued which were subsequently appealed against by the JMG lawyers and declared unlawful. 

Human rights defenders had to state that virtually all evidence on the case was lost during this time. Law-enforcement officers who apprehended Vangashev were not questioned, the location where Khusen was detained and tortured was not established, although he points at it, the Vangashev family’s neighbor who was detained on the night when Khusen was apprehended was not questioned, nor were the other neighbors and witnesses of the events, nor were the medical workers of the municipal hospital No.9 of Grozny who were providing medical assistance to Khusen… The investigation’s drawbacks are multiple. 

The attempt to once again point at the inefficiency of the investigation was conducted by the JMG lawyers who filed a lawsuit in court seeking a compensation for moral damage inflicted to Khusen Vangashev. 

On 24 April 2015 the Leninsky District Court of Grozny examined a claim of Vangashev to the Ministry of Finance and the Investigative Department of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation for the Chechen Republic and dismissed it.  

Khusen Vangashev’s representative Sergey Babinets: «Of course, we are disappointed by the court decision. A young man has become disabled after a meeting with law-enforcement officers, the Investigative Committee is issuing practically identical refusals and has not been conducting obvious checks for about four years now – all this, in our opinion, definitely causes serious emotional stress and moral sufferings of Khusen.  Since only substantive provisions have been announced in court it is not yet clear for us how the court substantiated its refusal. But after we receive the court’s ruling we’ll definitely appeal against according to the appellate procedure».

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