Today, on 27 March 2007 the MoskovskyDistrictCourtofCheboksaryCity (Chuvashia) begins preliminary trial under the case of Leonid Sarri.
Yuri Sidorov, a lawyer of the NN Committee Against Torture, represents the victim before the court.
You may remember that on 12 May 2006 Aleksandr Shalagin, a deputy chief of the Department for Combating Organized Crime and Terrorism (UBOP) of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Chuvashia, in his office acting in an official capacity cruelly beat his subordinate – criminal investigation officer of the UBOP Leonid Sarri. As a result the officer got multiple bodily injuries and was put in hospital where he spent a considerable time. The victim asserts that he was beaten because he tried to record with a Dictaphone the threats of his direct chief who was trying to make him give false evidence under a criminal case. Mr. Sarri decided to report the incident to the head of the Central Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia in Privolzhsky Federal District and a Deputy General Prosecutor of Russia. Being aware of the complexity of the situation, Leonid Sarri’s counsel applied to the NN Committee Against Torture asking to carry out an inquiry into the case and ensure public control over the official investigation.
On Mr. Sarri’s application the prosecutor’s office of Chuvashia opened a criminal case and initiated criminal proceedings. It only complicated the situation because we had all reasons to believe that the person in charge of the investigation would be pressurized. The NN Committee Against Torture applied to the General Prosecutor’s Office requiring to remit the criminal case to a prosecutor’s office of another region of Russia. We also attached the materials which had been gathered during our unofficial investigation. As a result of our activity the criminal case was remitted to the prosecutor’s office of the Republic of Tatarstan.