Sexual violence, abuse of office and... a bribe

Событие | Пресс центр

16 June 2016

Another article of the Criminal Code was  added to the indictment of former Deputy Head of Orenburg Penal Colony-Settlement No.11 Murat Kumarov. Today in the course of the court hearing dedicated to imposing a judicial restraint to Kumarov in the form of taking him into custody it has become known that another criminal case against him is opened in relation with crime under part 3 Article 290 of the Criminal Code of the RF («Taking bribe by an office holder for performing illegal actions»). As we have reported, previously a criminal case was initiated  against Kumarov in relation to crimes under item «а» Part 2 Article 132 of the Criminal Code of the RF («Sexual battery performed by a group of persons by previous concert») and item «а» Part 3 Article 286 УК РФ («Abuse of office using violence of threatening with violence»).

Penal-Colony Settlement No.11 of the Federal Penitentiary Service of Russia for the Orenburg region attracted the attention of human rights back in summer of 2013 when Irina Balashova applied for legal assistance. According to the woman, her partner Sergey Nikonorov was trapped in unbearable and inhuman conditions created by the staff of Penal Colony (settlement) no. 11 for Orenburg region, which is headed by Filyus Khusainov: convicts were systematically subjected to ill-treatment, including threats of sexual abuse. Concerning Mr Nikonorov, the treatment had been caused by his refusals to work at construction sites, and his forced labor complaints were lodged with the Investigative Committee and the Prosecutor’s Office. Based on these episodes former head of this penal institution Filyus Khusainov was convicted and sentenced to three years prison term with serving the sentence in a standard regime penal colony.

In end of 2013 the picture of appalling abuse of power in Penal-Colony Settlement No.11 was supplemented by testimonies of convicts K. and D. (full names are not given due to ethical reasons), who informed that they became victims of crimes committed by the Colony’s officers. They applied to the Orenburg branch of the Committee Against Torture out of desperation, since after the failed attempt to flee (in its turn, motivated by batteries) one of them was raped by the convict from the so called «core group» in the presence of the Colony officers and at their order and this was recorded by the administration officers using the video recorder.

On 20 April of this year a criminal case was initiated against Deputy Head of Orenburg Penal Colony-Settlement No.11 Murat Kumarov in relation to crimes under item «а» Part 2 Article 132 of the Criminal Code of the RF («Sexual battery performed by a group of persons by previous concert») and item «а» Part 3 Article 286 УК РФ («Abuse of office using violence of threatening with violence»). On 13 May he was taken into custody.

Today the Novotroitskiy City Court of the Orenburg region satisfied the investigator’s motion on extending Kumarov’s judicial restraint in the form of keeping in custody till 20 July. 

In today’s ruling the court pointed out the following: «The materials contain data proving that M.A.Kumarov is involved in the crimes which he is accused of, and that he has been detained based on reasonable suspicion. This fact is confirmed by the transcripts of interrogation of victim M., witnesses N., М., L., K., G., who explicitly identified M.A.Kumarov as a person who committed the crime.  

In addition, there is a danger that the defendant can abscond during the investigation or trial.

This circumstance is confirmed by the fact that M.A.Kumarov is charged with committing two grave crimes in the period of his service in the Federal Government Institution «Penal Colony-Settlement No.11 of the Federal Penitentiary Service of Russia for the Orenburg region». One of them is against sexual integrity and sexual freedom, the other one – against the state authority and the interests of the state service. The punishment for these crimes involves only lengthy terms of imprisonment. In addition, on 1 June 2016 another criminal case was initiated against M.A.Kumarov with regards to crime under Part 3 Article 290 of the Criminal Code of the RF. 

According to the provided materials the convicts of the corrective institution and the personnel in charge of the colony functioning speak in the capacity of witnesses. Before the moment of his apprehension M.A.Kumarov used to take the position of Deputy Head of the Federal Government Institution «Penal Colony-Settlement No.11», and by the nature of his professional duty he was aware of all the personal details and addresses of the employees and the convicts of the institution that he headed back then. The material features evidence that M.A.Kumarov has legal knowledge and some experience as an operative authorized officer of the Federal Penitentiary Service, plus some weapon skills, too. As it follows from the witnesses’ interrogations transcriptions – eyewitnesses and M.A.Kumarov colleagues – all of them have concerns with regard to their life and health because of their testimony in this criminal case. Taking into account the connections of the defendant and his recent job position the court has grounds to think that M.A.Kumarov may force the witnesses and other participants of the judicial proceedings to destroy the evidence or obstruct justice in some other way».

In addition, in the course of today’s court hearing it has become known that Major of Internal Service Marat Kumarov, accused of having committed several crimes already,  proactively resigned from the Federal Penitentiary Service bodies on 16 May of this year, which will allow him to receive the retirement pay from the state even if the judgment of conviction is passed.

Member of the Committee for Prevention of Torture Vyacheslav Dyundin, who was present at the court hearing and respresented the victim’s interest, shared his observations: «Kumarov is taken to court handcuffed and he is uncuffed only after he is closed in a cage. As a dangerous criminal.  The convict is wearing a gym suit, featuring  «RUSSIA» inscription on his chest. And this footage seems to me quite symbolic in a way. Such kumarovs are indeed dangerous, because they are acting on behalf of Russia. The judge asked my opinion about the investigator’s motion and I, though I know that Kumarov has three children, answered that the brutality of this person  does not allow to believe his promises about the proper behavior».

«Former Deputy Head of Orenburg Penal Colony-Settlement No.11 Murat Kumarov was convicted recently. In the course of the criminal case examination we learned a lot about the methods which the colony officers used in order to keep silent the potential witnesses about the illegal actions of the colony-settlement executives, – lawyer of the Committee for Prevention of Torture Timur Rakhmatulin comments. – Notably, not only the convicts were subjected to pressure but also witnesses – officers of the Federal Penitentiary Service, who worked in this colony. I think that it is quite natural that the court, among other things, has taken into account the fact that the witnesses among the defendant’s colleagues have concerns with regard to their life and health because of their testimony in this criminal case».