"He was rolling over the ground and hit against the tree roots". How the Moscow investigators ignore the instructions of their boss, Mr Drymanov


01 March 2018

Investigators of the Investigative Department for the South-East Administrative District of Moscow passed the tenth refusal to initiate criminal case based on Pavel Baronin’s complaint against the battery by the police officers from the Center for Struggle with Extremism. At the same time investigator Aleksandr Zatsepin virtually failed to perform any of the instructions given to him by head of the Chief Investigative Directorate of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation for Moscow, Aleksandr Drymanov.

(Photo: Pavel Baronin on the next day after the meeting with the police officers)

As we have previously reported, in July 2016, Pavel Baronin applied to human rights defenders for legal support. According to him, in the evening on 14 May 2015. Pavel was strolling with his friends in the Kuzminki park. There they bumped into a citizen of Uzbekistan, with whom they had a conflict. As a result, Pavel and his friends beat him up, and having taken 400 roubles from him, went in the depth of the park. Approximately in half an hour Pavel saw about fifteen men running in his direction. In fear, he tried to run away, but fell. Then, according to Pavel, these people started to beat him up with arms and feet. As it became known later, the men turned out to be police officers.

«It hurt a lot and I was scared, I was afraid they would kill me. I felt totally devastated. Since I actively tried to cover my head with my hands, eventually they tied my hands behind my back with some wire. My hands were tied very tight, and because of that they immediately started to get swollen, and one of the attackers said with a laugh that «in an hour these might as well be cut off». After that they just left me lying on the cold ground. When I moved a little, a hit followed right away», – Pavel described.

Pavel claims that is how his apprehension by the officers of the 2nd department of the Chief Department for Struggle with Extremism of the Ministry of Interior of Russia, more commonly known as «E» Center, looked like. In the materials of the criminal case, initiated against Pavel and his friends, the process of apprehension is recorded with a lot less detail: «The victim with confidence identified them as persons who incurred bodily injuries to him and under the threat of a gun stole the money and the documents, after that the above-mentioned persons were detained». The report involves no additional details of the apprehension.
After the meeting with the police officers Pavel had to stay in hospital for two weeks. He was diagnosed with numerous hematomas, bruises of the face, upper shoulder girdle, soft tissues of the head, cerebral concussion. Up to now he is suffering from partial hearing loss.

Pavel and his friends confessed of their guilt for attacking the citizen of Uzbekistan, repented and got conditional sentences. Checking the circumstances of Baronov’s apprehension by the police officers was not that prompt and effective.

For over two years the Kuzminsky Interdistrict Investigative Department was conducting a check of Pavel’s complaint against the illegal actions of the police officers. And it was doing it rather inefficiently – eight illegal and ungrounded refusals to initiate criminal proceedings were issued during this period of time, which were subsequently quashed.

In November of last year, lawyers with the Committee Against Torture, representing the interests of Pavel Baronin, told head of the Chief Investigative Directorate of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation for Moscow Aleksandr Drymanov about the investigators’ red tape during the personal appointment. Based on the results of this conversation, Mr Drymanov ordered to transfer the materials of this check from the District Investigative Department to the County Investigative Department. Mr Drymanov also demanded that specific instructions would be provided, among them: to examine Baronin’s arguments on the mechanism of bodily injuries appearance, question the witnesses of Pavel’s apprehension, perform polygraph check.

Unfortunately, the Investigative Department for the South-East Administrative District treated these instructions rather negligently. For two months, investigator Aleksandr Zatsepin questioned only three persons, who were not even the eye-witnesses of applying physical force against Pavel, and twice refused to initiate criminal proceedings.

For some unknown reason investigator Zatsepin never questioned the actual witness of the incident, never assign a situational expert examination, never conducted a visual examination of the incident site. Apparently, the investigative authorities are quite satisfied with the evidence from the center “E” police officers, who claim that Pavel got all his bodily injuries when he was rolling on the ground and hitting against the roots of the trees.

“Unfortunately, neither the Criminal and Procedural Code nor their own numerous departmental instructions appeared to be enough for the investigators to conduct proper checking of Pavel Baronin’s complaint, – lawyer with the Committee Against Torture Dmitry Piskunov comments. – Regarding this, we decided to apply to Aleksandr Drymanov, hoping that he would at least be able to stimulate the investigators to perform their duty in a proper way. However, in this particular case this turned out to be a waste of time. Well, we will go up the higher level still – we wil book an appointment with Chairman of the Investigative Committee of Russia Aleksandr Bastrykin, if neither normal investigator nor Chief Investigator of Moscow cannot perform adequate check of a perfectly common case”.

According to Piskunov, human rights defenders will also apply to the Prosecutor’s Office with a complaint against the red tape of the Investigative Committee employees.

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