Injuries are present, but the torture is not. How the Moscow City Court stood up for the Investigative Committee


04 September 2015

Yesterday, 3 September 2015, the Moscow City Court dismissed the appellate complaint of Igor Lavoshnik from Moscow who complained against the refusal to initiate criminal proceedings based on his crime report on tortures by the police officers and Skolkovo innovations center security officers.

Igor Lavoshnik applied to the Moscow office of the Committee Against Torture for legal assistance on 12 February 2014. The man told the human rights defenders that in the night of 22 December 2013 he was severely beaten up by the security and police officers when he attempted to leave the territory of Skolkovo innovation сenter in his car.

According to Igor, the events of his night developed in the following way. He was getting back to his home in the car together with an acquaintance of his, and the short way to get there was through Skolkovo innovation center. Having passed the check point without any obstacles at the exit from another check point the security demanded that Igor paid for the passage, complaining about the nuisance in the night and interrupted sleep. Lavoshnik refused to pay and asked to let him pass showing his ID of a disabled person and a retired officer of the Ministry of the Interior. As Igor recalls, the second security officer pulled several notes out of the purse that Igor produced (where his ID was) and recommended that he went away in good time. An argument followed, as a result of which Lavoshnik made several shots in the air from his non-lethal gun. The security officers together with their colleagues who showed up after they heard shots managed to quickly tie up the hardheaded car enthusiast – according to Igor, he was severely beaten up and thrown on the floor in the unfinished checkpoint premises. The police officers who arrived on the scene also, according to the applicant, hit him several times on his face and body, after that he remained lying on the floor.

Igor’s wife who arrived on the scene of the incident transported him to the first-aid station. Doctors registered closed craniocerebral injury, cerebral concussion, contused wound of the lower jawbone, numerous bruises, scratches on the head and face, chest, lower limbs.

On 10 February 2014 Igor Lavoshnik filed a complaint about the battery by the security and police officers to the Investigative Committee of Russia. However, for one and half years when pre-trial examination was underway the investigator five times issued refusals to initiate criminal proceedings, four of which were subsequently declared illegal. Lavoshnik, his wife and the passenger, whom he was taking to his home, were never questioned, medical documents on Lavoshnik’s examination were never requested, expert examinations or verification activities were never conducted. The investigator drew his conclusions that Igor’s battery never happened basing exclusively on the evidence of those whom the man actually accuses of the battery. The investigator, the security and the police officers are not able to provide any explanation on how he got numerous injuries.
As a result Igor’s verdict pronounced that he was guilty of disorderly conduct in relation to the checkpoint security officers (shooting out of a non-lethal gun) so he was convicted conditionally to three-years prison term. As to the check of Mr. Lavoshnick’s complaint about his battery, during the period of pre-investigation check five refusals to initiate criminal proceedings were issued. Four of them were declared illegal by the management of the Investigative Department and the Prosecutor’s Office and were annulled, as for the last one Igor had to appeal against it at court.

On 8 July 2015 the Kuntsevsky District Court of Moscow declared that the pre-investigation check of Lavoshkin’s complaint was conducted within the limits of the law, despite all the applicant’s arguments about its incomplete character. Having considered such court ruling to be unlawful, Mr. Lavoshnik and his representatives challenged this decision on appeal.

But yesterday the Moscow City Court supported the ruling of the District Court, having established that the check was conducted in full scope and dismissed the complaint.
Head of the Moscow branch of INGO «The Committee for Prevention of Torture» Sergey Babinets: «The court hearing lasted exactly ten minutes. The judge was inside the consultation room for not more than a minute. Materials of the check were not examined at court. The representative of the Investigative Committee of Russia did not attend the hearing, although he was summoned. The prosecutor spoke against satisfying Lavoshkin’s demands. Unfortunately, the court did not take into account the arguments of the applicant and his representatives and dismissed the appellate complaint. We shall definitely appeal against this court decision. At the same time we shall bring to the notice of the European Court of Human Rights, to where we had previously filed the complaint on behalf of Mr.Lavoshnik, the information on the Moscow District Court decision as proving that the check of Mr. Lavoshnik’s complaints against torture conducted by the Russian Federation was inefficient».

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