Only in court the Nizhny Novgorod police finally apologized


26 April 2017

Yesterday, on 25 April 2017, in the course of the court hearing representative of the Nizhny Novgorod police Olga Legoshina officially offered the apologies to Anton Golovko who was tortured in 2012 by criminal investigators. It is worth pointing out that judge Anton Simagin also deemed it necessary to offer apologies to the victim. He also emphasized that such incidents are audacious cases, unacceptable in our society”.

(Photo: Anton Golovko)

Let us remind you that on 9 September 2015 Anton Golovko from the Sormovsky District of Nizhny Novgorod applied to the Committee for Prevention of Torture for legal assistance. According to him, on 23 March 2012 he was tortured by the police officers of Police Department No.8 in order to make him confess of a theft from a car: police officers beat him up, put a gas mask on his face, choked him and hang him up. Golovko was forced to sign a full confession which by that time had already been written for him by one of the police officers; however, no criminal case was opened against Anton.

Instead the investigative authorities opened a criminal case based on the fact of torture. It should be pointed out that the officers of the Directorate of Internal Security of the Main Directorate of the Ministry of the Interior of Russia for the Nizhny Novgorod region seized a number of material objects from the office of the suspected police officers, including gas masks, nunchucks, ropes.

On the same year of 2012 the criminal case was sent to the district court. The defendants and their defense team tried to topple the case by different means – once the judge had to return the case for the additional investigation. Then Anton Golovko applied to human rights defenders for legal assistance, and they started to represent his interests in court.

On 30 May 2016, judge of the Sormovskiy District Court of Nizhny Novgorod Tatyana Sineva pronounced a verdict with regard to two former police officers of Police Department No.8 of the Sormovskiy District Sergey Baranov and Sergey Batmanov. They were declared guilty of crime under items «а», «b» part 3 Article 286 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation («Exceeding official powers using violence and special equipment»). Baranov was sentenced to 4 years of prison term, Batmanov – to 3.5 years. The court declared the punishment to be a conditional one.

Law “On Police” and departmental order oblige the head of the department, whose subordinate performed illegal actions, offer apologies to the victim in the shortest possible time, not exceeding one month from the moment of the court’s verdict has entered into its legal force. However, no one apologized to Anton Golovko. On 16 October of last year the victim applied to the city department of the Ministry of the Interior together with the lawyer with the Committee for the Prevention of Torture.

– In a month Deputy Head of Police Vladimir Ilyushkin answered that since convicts Baranov and Batmanov are fired and are no longer police officers, there is no one to apologize for. We appealed against this answer in court, – lawyer with the Committee for the Prevention of Torture Albert Kuznetsov, representing Anton Golovko’s interests, comments. 

In the course of the yesterday’s court hearing representative of the Nizhny Novgorod police Olga Legoshina at last offered official apologies to Anton Golovko for actions of her former colleagues. Judge Anton Simagin joined in the apologies and emphasized that such incidents are “audacious cases, unacceptable in our society”.

«At last the apologies were offered to Anton for the crime which was committed by the people who are obliged to protect us. I’m glad that in the end we were able to insist on these apologies, even if we had to apply to court for that», – Albert Kuznetsov emphasized. 

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