On March 1 the Yoshkar-Ola city court of Mariy El will hold the first hearing under the criminal case against four police officers accused of abuse of office with violent treatment in respect of Ivan Kozlov.
You may remember that on 3 July 2007 the Mari-El representation of the Committee Against Torture received an application from Ivan Kozlov. According to Ivan, on 26 June 2007 around 5 p.m. he and his sister were summoned to the Traffic Police Office to give explanations regarding a traffic accident. They did not know what traffic accident was at issue, nevertheless, they arrived at the police station on time. Under the pretext of an identification parade Ivan was asked to go to the Zarechny Police Department under the Yoshkar-Ola Directorate of the Interior, and only there it occurred to him what the police really wanted.
The police handcuffed Ivan and started beating him, at the same time demanding that he should confess to the murder of a certain girl he barely knew. Ivan’s claims of non-involvement into the crime were ignored and beatings continued. The young man said that he had had a knee surgery recently. In fact, he shouldn’t have done so, as the policemen immediately hit him in the injured leg.
Later the tortures became more sophisticated – the police put a gas mask on Ivan’s head and shut the air off until he fainted, hung him by the hands. Being unable to stand the tortures, the young man confessed to the murder and began inventing the murder scenario, the policemen were correcting his statement, prompting how it would be better to describe the crime. The tortures lasted more than 12 hours, the following day the young man was taken to the Prosecutor’s Office and then to hospital where he lost his consciousness. While being an in-patient in the Republican Hospital, Kozlov learnt that the real murderer had been found.
The Committee Against Torture hopes that after more than four years of delays the case will be finally considered by court in accordance with federal law and the perpetrators will finally be awarded a fair punishment.