On 10 December 2008 at 11:30 the Krasnodar regional court will hear cassation appeals of eight Special police Forces officers from Sochi convicted for tortures and battery of citizens in Druzhba children’s camp in the summer of 2006.
You may remember that on 15 October 2008 the Lazarevskiy district court of Sochi found eight SPF officers of the Krasnodarskiy Kray Directorate of the Interior guilty of this crime. The court sentenced officers: Vladimir Zubenko – to 3,5 years of imprisonment in a standard security penal colony and a fine of 15 thousand roubles; Alexey Petrenko – to 3.5 years of imprisonment in a standard security penal colony; Maksim Ozhgikhin – to 5 years of imprisonment in a standard security penal colony and a fine of 30 thousand roubles; Mikhail Pruidze— to 2.5 years in a settlement colony, and other convicts: Alexander Yezerskiy – to 3.5 years of imprisonment in a standard security penal colony; Vladimir Zabeyvorota- to 3 years of imprisonment in a standard security penal colony; Alexey Korolyov – to 3 years in a standard security penal colony; Igor Pimenov – to 4.5 years in a standard security penal colony.
According to the court, at night on 18 – 19 July 2006 in Nizhneye Makopse around 50 Sochi SPF officers (mostly wearing masks) started detaining men and teenagers for no reason using violence, electric shockers and bamboo sticks. Later the victims were taken to the Lazarevskiy district Directorate of the Interior where they were denied medical aid and were made to sign a remission of claim under the threat of violence.
In order to establish the circumstances of the case and conduct a public investigation, a joint mobile task force of Russian human rights defenders was sent to Sochi. The task force included specialists of the Interregional Committee against Torture (Nizhny Novgorod), Mothers Supporting the Accused, Detainees and Convicts (Krasnodar), Man and Law (Mariy El), and the Public Verdict Foundation. Lawyers’ professionalism and effective cooperation of human rights defenders and state investigators provided for an objective investigation of the events.
The proceedings lasted more than two years. 28 people were acknowledged victims under the case, 5 of them are minors.
It should be mentioned that the convicts pled innocent in course of trial, and right after the verdict was proclaimed they expressed their intention to appeal against the judgment, later they filed cassation appeals.