In Anapa, a criminal case with regard to the death of a man in a police vehicle is resumed for the third time


05 March 2019
Extract from the response of Acting Head of the Investigative Department of the Investigative Committee of Russia for the Krasnodar Territory Andrey Maslov

For the third time the investigators resume a criminal case with regard to the death of Ivan Geliyev from Anapa in a police vehicle. For two years of investigation not a single suspect appeared in the case, and the investigators, who repeatedly issued illegal rulings, were not brought to responsibility. Lawyers with the Committee Against Torture, representing the interests of the sister of the deceased, will insist that this case is transferred to the federal level for further investigation.

As we have previously reported, on 30 June 2017 Zalina Geliyeva from Anapa applied to human rights defenders for legal assistance. She informed human rights defenders that her brother Ivan died in the police vehicle’s cell for apprehended early in the morning on 18 March 2017.

During public investigation, human rights defenders managed to clarify some circumstances of the incident. At about 4 hours 15 minutes on 18 March 2017, Ivan Geliyev arrived at the cross-section of Vladimirskaya street and Shevchenko street of Anapa at the request of his friend who was detained by the Road Patrol Service for drunk driving. Ivan started to argue with the police officers loudly, in response the Road Patrol Service officers applied physical force and hand-cuffed him. Sometime later a Patrol-Guard Service arrived at the scene of the incident, its officers together with their colleagues from Road Patrol Service loaded Geliyev, who offered resistance, to police UAZ vehicle’s cell for apprehended and took him to the Department of the Interior of Russia for Anapa.

Having arrived at the police department the Road Patrol Service officers revealed that Ivan was in unconscious state and gave no signs of life. The medical aid team that arrived at the place of the incident simply had to establish the fact of the death of the apprehended person.

On the same day, 18 March, Zalina Geliyeva applied with the crime report to the Investigative Committee; however, criminal case under Part 1 Article 109 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (“death by negligence”) was initiated only on 29 May.

According to the conclusion of the forensic medical expert, Ivan Geliyev’s death occurred as a result of “closed blunt trauma of the neck with local hemorrhaging in the area of left cervical neurovascular tract (sinocarotid nodosity), was followed by primary traumatic shock and caused reflectory heart failure which became the direct cause of death… Closed blunt trauma of the neck could be inflicted by impact action of blunt hard object directly in the neck area on the left, created instant danger to life, and based on this is qualified as inflicting grave bodily harm. The trauma occurred shortly before death, in the range from several minutes to several dozens of minutes. This neck trauma has a direct causal relation to the death coming”.

Since the beginning of the investigation lawyers with the Committee Against Torture and victim Zalina Geliyeva literally have to force investigator Evgeny Lisyansky to conduct necessary investigative activities. Some of them, which had to be performed at the early stages of the investigation, were conducted months after the beginning of the investigation. Investigator Lisyansky did not question all the witnesses for the criminal case and was very slow in gathering the documents and materials necessary for conducting expert examination reviews.

Applications informing about the facts of red tape were sent to investigator Lisyansky’s superiors as well as to the Investigative Department and the Prosecutor’s Office. After these applications, in the end of the last month, the criminal case was handed over from investigator Lisyansky to investigator Denis Ivlev. In addition, Deputy Head of the Investigative Department for Anapa was brought to disciplinary responsibility for “inappropriate review of the victim Geliyeva’s application”.

However, the handover of the criminal case to the new investigator did not bring visible results. On 29 May 2018, Mr Ivlev passed a ruling on suspending the criminal case due to failure to identify the defendant. In order to obtain a copy of this ruling, Zalina Geliyeva also had to submit a complaint to the head of the Investigative Department. Later on, this ruling of the investigator was quashed and the investigation of the criminal case was extended by a month.

However, on 29 June of last year, Denis Ivlev passed a ruling on dismissal of this criminal case. According to the investigator, the death of Ivan Geliyev was not criminal, but was caused by acute heart failure.

In his ruling, refusing the opening of the criminal case, Mr Ivlev, among other things, is referring to the results of the repeated situational single-discipline expert panel, which states that “it may be considered that the most probable cause of death of I.A.Geliyev was the development of acute heart failure as a complication of cardiopathy, the heart condition that he had… The development of acute heart failure was provoked by cumulative action of a number of factors: alcoholic intoxication, psychoemotional and physical stress (had a conflict with police officers), physical fatigue”.

Investigator Ivlev, when passing the ruling on dismissal of the case, for some reason ignored the results of the first and the second medical forensic examinations.

The Anapa Interdistrict Prosecutor’s Office declared the ruling on dismissal of this criminal case to be illegal and quashed it. On 28 September, the investigation was resumed, however, in a month, on 27 October, investigator Ivlev once again dismissed it due to failure to identify the defendant.   

On 30 January 2019, Zalina Geliyeva and human rights defender Sergey Romanov applied to head of the territorial Investigative Department of the Investigative Committee Vadim Bugayenko during personal appointment with a request to resume the criminal case, transfer it to the department for major cases investigation of the regional Investigative Department, as well as to bring investigator Ivlev to disciplinary action.

Today, human rights defenders received an answer from Acting Head of the Investigative Department of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation for the Krasnodar Territory Andrey Maslov, in which he notified that “the investigator’s ruling on suspending the preliminary investigation is quashed, instructions to execute investigative and procedural activities are issued… the investigation is followed up by the Investigative Department for the Krasnodar Territory”.

“Only one of our requirements is satisfied – the resuming of the investigation of the criminal case related to Ivan Geliyev’s death. Investigator Ivlev is not punished for red tape, it will be him again who will deal with this case further, and not the investigators on major cases investigation from the regional investigative department, like we insisted, – lawyer with the Committee Against Torture Sergey Romanov says. – We are strongly dissatisfied with that, that is why we shall be appealing against the reply of Andrey Maslov to Chairman of the Investigative Committee of Russia Aleksandr Bastrykin”.

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