On March 21 2013 the Alshaevskiy District Court of the Bashkortostan Republic delivered its judgment in the criminal case against police captain Azat Shunkarov. The court found him guilty under Article 286 (3) (a) CC RF (exceeding official powers with the use of violence) and sentenced the policeman to 1 year of probation with a 3 year and 6 months suspended sentence, and prohibited him to hold offices in the civil service for the term of 1 year and 6 months. The decision has not come into force yet.
(Photo: Veronika Rozkulieva)
As we have previously reported, in the summer of 2010 Veronika Rozkulieva applied to the Bashkortostan regional branch of the INGO «Committee Against Torture» seeking legal assistance. She claimed that in February 2010 she was beaten up in the Alshaevskiy Department of the Interior. According to the applicant, police captain Azat Shunkarov attempted to make her responsible for theft of a cell phone belonging to the chief of the cafe she worked for as a waitress. The woman rejected any involvement in the crime. She stated that the policeman inflicted her numerous blows to the head and body with his hands and a truncheon. Medical examinations observed such injuries as acute closed craniocerebral injury, brain concussion, and numerous contusions on various parts of her body.
It must be noted that in a month after the aggressive interrogation the police discovered that the missing cell phone had been taken by another person.
On 29 March 2010 the Belebeevsk Interdistrict Investigating Department of the Investigative Committee for the Bashkortostan Republic instituted criminal proceedings concerning the battery of the young woman on the grounds of evidence of a crime under Article 286 (3) (a) of the Criminal Code of Russia (exceeding official powers with the use of violence). On 18 May 2011 the case was brought to trial before the Alshaevskiy District Court of the Bashkortostan Republic. The case was pending before the court for almost two years.
By 13 March 2013 the court had examined the submitted evidence, and the parties read their closing statements. Prosecution asked the court to sentence the defendant to 4 years of imprisonment. The defendant pleaded not guilty and asked for acquittal.
On March 21 the Alshaevskiy District Court found Azat Shunkarov guilty under Article 286 (3) (a) CC RF (exceeding official powers with the use of violence) and sentenced the policeman to 1 year of probation with a 3 year and 6 months suspended sentence, and prohibited him to hold offices in the civil service for the term of 1 year and 6 months.
The Head of the Bashkortostan regional branch of the INGO «Committee Against Torture» Anton Fadeev represents the applicant’s interests. He commented on the court decision as follows: «The trial was indeed complicated. The defense was trying its best to delay it, the defendant changed his advocates twice. In the course of the trial two forensic medical examinations were ordered and carried out, the court heard more than twenty witnesses. The defendant’s colleagues traditionally testified that the victim had not been beaten. Mr Shunkarov’s defense offered a wide scope of stories explaining what the victim’s reasons to file torture complaints were, from her attempt to avoid criminal prosecution for stealing the cell phone to an attempt to take revenge against the police officers on the part of the man Veronika lived with. However, the defense failed to support any of those stories. Moreover, in the course of pre-trial investigation Veronika successfully underwent polygraph examination, while Mr Shunkarov refused it».