One million rubles in compensation for father's death at the hands of a drunk policeman


07 May 2014

On 5 May 2014 the Kirovskiy District Court of Ufa city held that the External Guards Directorate of the Ministry of the Interior for the Republic of Bashkortostan is to pay to Aleksey Mukhamedzakirov and Elena Roldugina (children of Albert Mukhamedzakirov, who was in 2010 killed by a drunk policeman) 500 thousand rubles per person in compensation for moral damage.

At the beginning of May 2010 a woman leaving in Ufa, Tatiana Ivanova, applied to the INGO «Committee Against Torture» complaining that her husband had been killed, allegedly by police officer Vladislav Simukhin.

Human rights defenders in the course of their public investigation made the following findings. On 1 May 2010 Vladislav Simukhin was in a state of alcoholic inebriation. He received a service pistol and, instead of starting his shift, drank some more vodka and went to Ufa having the service pistol and his police uniform with him. There he continued «having fun» together with some acquaintances of his. The next day at about 1:40 pm the police officer, being considerably drunk, came over to a car with Albert Mukhametzakirov behind the wheel. The men agreed that Albert would take the policeman to Demskiy district of Ufa city.

(Photo: Albert Mukhamedzakirov and Vladislav Simukhin)

In the car Mr Simukhin paid for the ride and they started off. On the way there occurred an argument between the driver and the passenger (alcohol must have done its part) which resulted in a tragedy – the law enforcement agent shot the teacher in the head, and fled the scene. Mr Mukhametzakirov died from the wound.

On 7 May 2010 Vladislav Simukhin surrendered and gave a confession statement. On 14 May 2010 he was charged with this crime, and the case was referred to the Kirovskiy District Court of Ufa city. Before court the policeman maintained that he had committed the crime by negligence, but the court took the victims’ side and held that Vladislav Simukhin is guilty of the crime under Article 105 (1) of Russian Criminal Code (intentional causing the death to another person) and sentenced him to 10 years of imprisonment to be served in a maximum security penal colony.

On 1 October 2012 the Leninskiy District Court of Ufa city delivered judgment awarding to Tatiana Ivanova compensation of moral damage in the amount of 800 thousand rubles. Nevertheless, on 14 March 2013 the High Court of the Republic of Bashkortostan delivered an unexpected appellate decision which dismissed the plaintiff’s claims for compensation. The bench of High Court judges must have wished to save money for the State, and concluded that the State bears no responsibility for murder committed by a law enforcement officer armed with a service pistol.

Lawyers with the Committee Against Torture who represented Ms Ivanova’s interests could not agree to this reasoning, and filed a claim for compensation against the External Guards Directorate of the Ministry of the Interior for the Republic of Bashkortostan, which is a state institution. Considering that firearms pose a serious danger to the general public, the owner of this source is to be responsible for any damage, and the owner is the regional external guards directorate.

On 26 September 2013 the Kirovskiy District Court of Ufa granted the claim for compensation filed on behalf of Ms Tatiana Ivanova, but only partially. It ordered the defendant to pay 500 thousand rubles compensation. The plaintiff demanded 1 million rubles. On December 3 the Supreme Court of the Republic of Bashkortostan upheld this decision.

After the aforementioned decision had entered into force, human rights defenders filed similar claims on behalf of the two other victims – Albert Mukhamedzakirov’s children. On 6 may 2014 the Kirovskiy District Court of Ufa city sustained the claims in full, and awarded 500 thousand rubles in compensation for moral damage to each plaintiff.

Lawyer with the Bashkortostan regional branch of the Interregional NGO «Committee Against Torture» Dmitry Solodky comments on the decision: «We are satisfied with the decision. We are happy to note that the Prosecutor’s Office supported out requests in court. A representative of the Ministry of the Interior told me that the Ministry was going to file a redress claim against Mr Simukhin».

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