The period for investigation of the criminal case based on the fact of abduction and torture of Aleksandr Novoselov from Nizhny Novgorod by the police officers in 2004 is extended by two months. 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.
On 2 August of this year Head of the Department for Investigation of Crimes Committed by the Law-Enforcement Officers, Third Investigative Department (based in Nizhny Novgorod) of the Chief Investigative Directorate of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation passed a resolution on initiating criminal case with relation to crimes under item “a” of part 2 of Article 126 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (“abduction of a person by a group of persons by previous concert”) and item “a” of part 3 of Article 286 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (“abuse of office using violence”).
The criminal case was initiated against Roman Markeev (in 2004 – senior investigative officer of interdistrict department of police for resolving serial and contract murders under the Chief Directorate of the Interior of the Nizhny Novgorod region), Evgeny Voronin (in 2004 – head of this department) and other unidentified persons.
As it follows from the notification which was sent to lawyer with the Committee for the Prevention of Torture Sergey Shounin, representing the interests of the victim, the period of the preliminary investigation of this criminal case is extended till 2 December of this year.
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 Balakhinskiy 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 haemorrhage 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 European Court of Human Rights delivered a judgment regarding this application. The Strasbourg judges concluded that Mr Novoselov was tortured by representatives of state authorities, and the inquiry into his allegations of ill-treatment was «superficial and formalistic». The European Court held that Russia is to pay the applicant EUR 27,500.