Orenburg regional branch of the INGO «Committee Against Torture» received a letter from the Deputy Head of Procedural Supervision of the Investigative Directorate of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation for Orenburg region, Mr V.V. Frank. The Lieutenant Colonel of Justice notified the human rights defenders of the fact that the Head of Investigative Department for Orenburg city Northern administrative district, Vladimir Lebedev, had been brought to disciplinary liability.
The Investigative Department headed by Vladimir Lebedev since 27 August 2008 has been in charge of investigating into complaints filed by Maxim Nimatov, Anton Ferapontov, and Vyacheslav Sadovskiy, who claimed to have been tortured by police officers from the Dzerzhinskiy District Department of the Interior of Orenburg city.
During the five years of pre-investigation inquiry, investigators of Mr Lebedev’s Department repeatedly issued unlawful refusals to investigate, which were subsequently appealed against by human rights defenders. All those decisions were declared ill-found and unlawful, and quashed by higher ranking investigators, the Prosecutor’s Office, and courts. Furthermore, the Department have numerously violated the applicants’ right to receive copies of all decisions issued be the Department in connection with their complaints. Now, the investigators have started to ignore court orders.
In March 2013 lawyers with the Committee Against Torture lodged a complaint against another unlawful refusals to institute criminal proceedings. Court accepted the lawyers’ arguments, granted the claim, and ordered the investigative body to rectify violations. After that, the Head of the Investigative Department had to quash the unlawful refusal, and to make relevant provisions for the crime report to be investigated properly. Nevertheless, the court order had not been effected even six months later. This fact was established by the Dzerzhinskiy District Court of Orenburg city on 9 September 2013.
The human rights defenders complained against the Investigative Department’s ostentatious ignoring the court order under Article 315 of Russian Criminal Code («willful non-enforcement of court decision»). The Article stipulates that willful non-enforcement of court decision, as well as interfering with enforcement of court decision, committed by a State representative; by an official of local administrative bodies; by governmental, municipal, public, commercial or other institution or organization – shall be punished with a fine… … or with imprisonment of up to 2 years.
On 27 December 2013 the Committee received the official notification from the Deputy Head of Procedural Supervision of the Investigative Directorate of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation for Orenburg region, Mr V.V. Frank, which read that the responsible officer had been brought to disciplinary liability.
«In fact, the investigative authorities haven’t agreed that their officer had violated the Criminal Code, yet we are happy with the fact that the regional Investigative Directorate did not attempt to cover the deeds of its investigators, as it frequently does, but brought the responsible to disciplinary liability. We hope that the Investigative Committee is going to show due respect to court decisions in the future», says the Head of Orenburg regional branch of the INGO «Committee Against Torture», Sergey Babinets.