НАСТОЯЩИЙ МАТЕРИАЛ (ИНФОРМАЦИЯ) ПРОИЗВЕДЕН, РАСПРОСТРАНЕН И (ИЛИ) НАПРАВЛЕН ИНОСТРАННЫМ АГЕНТОМ «КОМАНДА ПРОТИВ ПЫТОК» ЛИБО КАСАЕТСЯ ДЕЯТЕЛЬНОСТИ ИНОСТРАННОГО АГЕНТА «КОМАНДА ПРОТИВ ПЫТОК» | 18+
On 6 June 2023, the Gudermes City Court of the Chechen Republic found former officers of the Russian Federal Service of the National Guard Troops, Bekkhan Abdurashidov and Aslan Dukayev, guilty of unlawful arrest of an owner of a pharmacy, Aleksey Kardashov. The man was taken from Dagestan to Chechnya and has never been seen since. The officers were conditionally sentenced to two years of correctional colony under the article on abuse of office, as the article on abduction was excluded from the charges. The lawyers of the Crew Against Torture represent Aleksey’s mother, Tsilya Yakubova, in court. She has not seen her son since September 2017.
According to investigators, the owner of the pharmacy, Aleksey Kardashov, was suspected of illegally selling a potent drug. According to the case file, after his arrest, Aleksey was taken to Gudermes, where the officers stole his car, and unknown people withdrew all the money from his credit card. Nothing more is known about the fate of Mr. Kardashov, his body has not yet been found.
A criminal case was opened in Dagestan under several articles: «Abduction» (part 1 of Article 126 of the Criminal Code), «Robbery on a large scale» in connection with the loss of a car (part 2 of Article 161) and «Theft on a large scale» due to money withdrawal from bank cards (part 3 of Article 158). The witness in the case was a taxi driver and an acquaintance of Mr. Kardashov, Said-Magomed Omarov, who pointed to the policemen from the Chechen Republic. According to Mr. Omarov, they took Aleksey to the Gudermes police station.
In November 2018, all criminal cases were joined into one procedure and transferred to the First department for the investigation of particularly important cases of the Investigative Committee of the Chechen Republic. In 2019, four law-enforcement officers were put on the wanted list: Alikhan Yusupov (the head of the Chechen Department for Drug Control), his deputy Kalogi Aziyev, as well as two officers of the Russian National Guard (Rosgvardiya) — Aslan Dukayev and Bekkhan Abdurashidov.
After the transfer of the criminal case to Chechnya, the witness Omarov, who had previously testified against the law-enforcement agents, suddenly came to the Gudermes district police station and confessed to the murder of Mr. Kardashov. Allegedly, Mr. Omarov killed Aleksey during a quarrel, and drowned the body in the river. Mr. Kardashov’s mother, Tsilya Yakubova, did not believe in this version. The woman turned to human rights activists for help. She believes that Mr. Omarov was forced to confess to the crime. Besides, according to the CAT lawyers, there is no objective evidence of Omarov’s guilt, except for his confession to the murder. Nevertheless, Mr. Omarov was sentenced to nine years in a strict regime correctional colony for the murder of Mr. Kardashov. Two years later, that sentence was quashed by the Supreme Court of the Chechen Republic.
In March 2019, Mr. Dukayev and Mr. Abdurashidov were arrested on suspicion of abduction. In November 2019, the investigators changed the charges, removing the article about the abduction from the indictment. According to the updated text, the officers only carried out the unlawful arrest of Mr. Kardashov, in violation of their territoriality and jurisdiction, but at the same time they did not use violence and did not abduct him. Besides, Kalogi Aziyev and Alikhan Yusupov were put on the federal wanted list.
In December 2020, the Gudermes City Court of the Chechen Republic found Mr. Abdurashidov and Mr. Dukayev guilty of abuse of office and conditionally sentenced them to three and a half years of colony. The lawyers of the Crew Against Torture have secured a re-trial because they believe the officers are guilty of much more serious crimes than just the unlawful arrest. The Supreme Court of the Chechen Republic initiated a new trial, and today the Gudermes City Court handed Mr. Abdurashidov and Mr. Dukaev a two-year suspended sentence on charges of abuse of office (part 1 of Article 286 of the Criminal Code).
«We strongly disagree with the court’s judgment, according to which the former officers were found guilty only of abuse of office. We believe that their actions should be qualified under a more serious article of the Russian Criminal Code. Evidence of the guilt of all individuals involved in the abduction should be examined in one joint trial. The case should be submitted for additional investigation, otherwise such rulings put the society at risk of being face to face with these law-enforcement agents again,»
The CAT lawyers intend to challenge the Gudermes City Court’s ruling.