Orenburg Court upholds the minimum sentence for ex-policeman responsible for cruel battery of a detainee

Событие | Пресс центр

20 May 2013

Today, 20 May 2013, the Orenburg Regional Court, having examined the appeal filed by lawyers of the Committee Against Torture, upheld the sentence passed by the Dzerzhinsky District Court of Orenburg on Oleg Litvishko, a former police officer, who was found guilty of criminal offenses under article 286 (3) (a) and (c) of the RF Criminal Code (exceeding official powers committed with the use of violence with the infliction of grave consequences) and sentenced him to three years in prison, the term is to be served in general regime (minimum security) penal colony. Human rights defenders intend to file for appeal at the Court of Cassation (the Orenburg Regional Court Presidium).

(Photo: Sergey Ivanov after his operation)

(Photo: Oleg Litvishko)

In March 2012 Orenburg citizen Sergey Ivanov applied to the Orenburg regional branch of the Committee Against Torture seeking help. The man told the human rights defenders that on 14 March 2012 he was battered severely by a policeman. Later Sergey underwent a surgery to have his spleen removed.

According to the man, that unfortunate evening he, together with his acquaintance Nikolay Savilov, was walking home when a policeman, Oleg Litvishko, came over and asked for identification documents. Nikolay had his passport with him, but Sergey appeared to have left it home. At the policeman’s suggestion the two men agreed to go with him to Ivanov’s place to check the ID. Hardly had the police car started moving, the policeman took of his jacket and began beating the friends. After several hard blows Sergey fainted, and regained consciousness at police station already. He was placed into a cell to spend there about an hour complaining of abdominal pain, crying and asking for help. When ambulance was called for at last, it took the man to Pirogov City Clinical Hospital. Sergey Ivanov was diagnosed with splenic rupture, fractured rib and numerous local bruises. He was urgently operated on and had his injured spleen surgically removed.

Public investigation conducted by the Committee Against Torture lawyers confirmed the applicant’s complaints.

On 17 March 2012, following Sergey Ivanov’s application, criminal proceedings based on the fact of infliction of great bodily injury upon him were initiated. Further, the investigation established that the policeman Oleg Litvishko was implicated in the crime. Almost immediately after the events the perpetrator escaped from the region, so the investigator had to put him on the federal wanted list. Quite soon he was found in Moscow. On 29 March 2012 the Dzerzhinsky District Court of Orenburg city, granting request of the Investigative Committee, remanded the Accused in custody.

The proceedings were referred to court in a year after they had been initiated. On 11 March 2013 a preliminary hearing was held. On 21 March 2013 hearing on the merits was over, and the Parties presented their closing arguments. In his final statement, the Prosecutor demanded 4-year prison term for the Accused.

We should note that this is the first time in the work of the Orenburg regional branch of the CAT when an accused has pleaded guilty to all charges and expressed intention to compensate for the inflicted damage.

On 25 March 2013 the Dzerzhinsky District Court of Orenburg city delivered the sentence against Oleg Litvishko. He was found guilty of criminal offenses under article 286 (3) (a) and (c) of the RF Criminal Code (exceeding official powers committed with the use of violence with the infliction of grave consequences) and sentenced to 4-year prison term to be served in general regime (minimum security) penal colony.

The Head of the Orenburg regional branch of the Committee Against Torture, Sergey Babinets, who represents Sergey Ivanov, commented on the Judgment: “We should not forget that the Accused fled having committed the crime, and was arrested after being put on the federal wanted list. During the investigation that lasted almost for a year, Litvishko pleaded not guilty, and only several weeks before the criminal proceedings were referred to court, the Accused at last pleaded guilty and payed to the victim a small sum of money in respect of non-pecuniary damage. We are convinced that those deeds were aimed at throwing dust in the court’s eyes, in order to avoid long prison term, which has actually worked out. The Committee Against Torture will not leave the case in this stage. We will appeal the Judgment in the Orenburg Regional Court Presidium”.