Yesterday, on 5 March 2018, judge of the Nizhny Novgorod District Court Aleksey Glavinsky satisfied the motions of investigator Ilya Filonenko on taking into custody two police officers charged with Aleksandr Novoselov’s abduction and torture, they will be taken into custody till 1 April. As we have previously reported, Novoselov accuses the police officers, stating that they abducted him, took him to the forest and under torture forced to confess of attempt to kill well-known businessman Oleg Sorokin from Nizhny Novgorod.
(Photo: Aleksandr Novoselov)
In the course of yesterday’s court hearing on selecting the measure of restraint, investigator Ilya Filonenko informed that the investigation obtained additional evidence of traces of grave crimes in actions of former police officers Roman Markeev and Evgeny Voronin which are described under items “a, v, g” of Part 2 Article 126 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (“abduction by a group of persons”) and items “a, b” of part 3 Article 286 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (“abuse of office with the use of violence”).
Judge of the Nizhny Novgorod District Court Aleksey Glavinsky agreed to the arguments of the investigator that the defendants may exert pressure on witnesses or influence the investigation using some other means, and satisfied the investigator’s motion on taking the defendants into custody.
As a result, Roman Markeev (in 2004 – Chief Investigating Officer of the Interdistrict Police Department for Solving Serial Crimes and Contract Killings, Chief Investigative Directorate of the Interior of the Nizhny Novgorod region) and Evgeny Voronin (in 2004 – head of this department) were taken into custody till 1 April of 2018.
It should be noted that, within the framework of the pre-investigative check on Novoselov’s application, “the expert of the FSB of Russia for the Nizhny Novgorod region provided conclusion No.33 dated 07.04.2017., stating that the conversation, recorded on a tape with a record of the operational experiment, contains speech and voice which belong to O.V.Sorokin”.
The circumstances of this case are as follows. In May 2005 Aleksandr Novoselov applied to the Committee Against Torture seeking legal assistance. According to the applicant, at about 10 a.m. on 27 April 2004, on one of central squares of the city, he was stopped by several men he was not acquainted with. The men dragged him into a car, beat up and drove to a forest in Balakhninsky district of Nizhny Novgorod region. Shortly after, a white all-road car arrived there, and several men stepped out of it. One of them, as Mr Novoselov insists, looked very much like businessman Sorokin. The men were threatening Aleksandr with a gun and beating him, accusing him of an attempt to murder the businessman. Then a man in camouflage rammed a gun in the applicant’s mouth, making his lower lip bleed. Aleksandr once again denied any involvement in the attempt on the businessman’s life, and the men put a plastic bag over his head, cutting off the air supply. The man looking like Oleg Sorokin said: «Take an axe, let’s cut his leg off». Seeing an axe in one of the men’s hands, Aleksandr felt fear for his life and decided to sign the statements wanted from him. The men also made a video record of him giving confession statements.
The battery resulted in serious bodily injuries. Aleksandr was later diagnosed with contusion of the right kidney, a brain contusion, bruising of the soft tissue of the face and limbs, blood in the urine, a subarachnoid hemorrhage and a fracture of the right ninth rib and other injuries.
Mr Novoselov firstly filed complaint with the Prosecutor’s Office. The investigative body refused to initiate criminal proceedings against the police officers, assertedly basing this decision on the results of a pre-investigation inquiry. The reasoning was the following: Aleksandr Novoselov appeared to have been involved in an operative drill performed by the Directorate of the Interior for Nizhny Novgorod region servicemen, and one of them «was disguised as O.V. Sorokin».
Having failed to attain justice on the national level, on 24 December 2005 lawyers of the Committee Against Torture lodged the relevant application with the European Court of Human Rights on behalf of Aleksandr Novoselov.
On 28 November 2013 the ECHR delivered a ruling with regard to it. The Strasbourg judges established that Novoselov was tortured by the representatives of the state, and the investigation of this fact by the Prosecutor’s Office was “shallow” and “formalistic”. At that time, the European Court obliged Russia to pay 27 500 euro to Novoselov.
With regard to the passed ruling of the ECHR, on 12 November 2014 the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation decided to resume the proceedings on Novoselov’s complaint due to new circumstances, however, the criminal case was initiated only on 2 August 2017.