Today, on 3 April 2017, judge of the Morkinsky District Court of the Republic of Mari El Lidiya Ivanova passed a sentence with regard to former STSI officer Evgeny Petukhov. He was declared guilty of committing a crime under item “a” part 3 Article 286 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (“abuse of office with the use of violence”), and he was sentenced to three years conditional term.
As we have already reported, on 26 February 2013 a citizen of Morki settlement Valentin Aleksandrov applied to the office of INGO «The Committee Against Torture» in Mari El Republic; he claimed that the officers of State Traffic Safety Inspectorate (STSI) had beat him during the arrest and had broken his arm.
According to Valentin, on September 17, 2012 he should have gone to a business trip to Arzamas (Nizhny Novgorod region) to take part in a professional competition for the title «The best fire engine driver». That day early in the morning Valentin left home and drove his own car to his place of work in order to take his fire engine license. However when he drove past the “Liliya” trading center an officer of DMVTC demanded stopping. Having recollected that he had left his driver license at home Valentin chose a wrong way of saving the situation – he didn’t stop and drove home to get the documents.
Valentin drove into his yard and went for the documents when the police UAZ car came, two officers jumped out and caught up with the forgetful driver at the inner porch.
As Valentin tells one of the policemen grabbed his right arm and the other hit him in the face. The further beating continued along with swearing when Valentin fall down. As a final humiliation act they twisted his arms by force, put handcuffs on and then were careful to take him to the Central Regional Hospital of Morki.
There a duty doctor wrote a medical examination act, where he stated that Valentin was sober. Next day on the basis of the primary examination forensic medical experts established that Valentin had a closed fracture of the left part of the left ulnar bone with a slight fraction (which is an injury of moderate severity), also bruises on the elbow joints, shoulders, chest, abrasions on the shins, the right forearm and the elbow joints.
A check was carried out by the senior investigator of the Inquiry Department of Committee of Inquiry in Mari El Republic V.V. Petukhov based on the fact of violence used by the officers of the Road Patrol Service; according to the results of this check he issued four unlawful denials to initiate criminal proceedings. All the unlawful decisions of the investigator were appealed against by lawyers of the Committee Against Torture, who represented the interests of Valentin Aleksandrov.
It is worth pointing out that during the appeal against the last refusal the Prosecutor of Mari El Republic Sergey Ryumshin reacted to the application of lawyer of the Committee for the Prevention of Torture Dmitry Yalikov and submitted a demand to the Head of the Investigative Department of the Investigative Committee for Mari El Republic on initiating criminal proceedings.
As a result on 11 November 2014 the Zvenigovsky Interdistrict Investigative Department of the Investigative Committee for Mari El initiated a criminal case based on elements of crime under item “a” Part 3 Article 286 of the RF Criminal Code (“abuse of office using violence”).
The investigation of this criminal case disappointingly resulted in three illegal rulings on its dismissal, issued by Senior Investigator Oksana Romanovskaya. Time after time the human rights defenders submitted complaints on these refusals to the Prosecutor’s Office.
After examination of the materials of the criminal case dismissed by investigator Romanovskaya on 11 February of this year, the Prosecutor of the Morkinsky District of Mari El Nadezhda Opikova declared this dismissal to be illegal and submitted a demand to the Head of the Zvenigovsky Investigative Department, in which she pointed out that in the course of the investigation of the criminal case a grave red tape was allowed to take place, which led to violation of Valentin Aleksandrov’s constitutional rights. What is more, in the Prosecutor’s opinion, the evidence obtained during the investigation of the criminal case, gives enough grounds to bring charges against one of the police officers under item “a” Part 3 Article 286 of the RF Criminal Code.
As a result, in August of this year investigator Oksana Romanovskaya brought charges against the traffic control police officer Evgeny Petukhov with regard to committing a crime under item “a” Part 3 Article 286 of the RF Criminal Code (“abuse of office using violence”). After the indictment was affirmed the case was sent to court for examination on its merits. In the course of judicial pleadings the State Prosecutor Nadezhda Opikova asked the court to declare Evgeny Petukhov guilty of the incriminated crime, but requested three years conditional punishment for him. Mrs Opikova also dismissed her charges in the part of the fracture of the victim’s arm – according to the State Prosecutor, in the course of the judicial examination it was not proven that this trauma was inflicted as a result of the actions of the former STST officer.
“To be quite frank, it came as some surprise to us that Nadezhda Opikova, who had previously affirmed the indictment, dismissed the charges in the part of the fracture of Valentin Aleksandrov’s arm – lawyer with the Committee for the Prevention of Torture Dmitry Yalikov, representing the interests of the victim, comments. – After the detailed familiarization with the court verdict we will make a decision on appealing against it”.