The actions of the investigation authorities under the case about the police raid in Blagoveschensk have violated many people’s right of access to court


10 March 2010

This statement was made by the Blagoveschensk district court in its resolution of 5 March 2010 issued under the case about the massive police mopping-up in that Bashkirian town conducted in December 2004.   

Then the actions of the police led to grave violations of human rights. You may remember that on March 5 the Blagoveschensk court found three high-standing police officers guilty of abuse of office and awarded them suspended sentenced. The victims’ interests were represented by lawyers of the Bashkirian representation of the Interregional Committee against Torture.   

In its resolution addressed to the heads of the Bashkirian investigation authorities the court noted that it had become impossible to charge police officers for many offenses because of the investigation authorities’ actions. This happened because many victims had been questioned by investigators not included into the investigative task force at that moment. The court had to dismiss those interrogation protocols as inadmissible evidence. The court was guided by the fact that the bill of indictment did not contain information about dozens of victims and their statements. Besides, many people were acknowledged witnesses instead of victims and questioned in that capacity. Some people were not properly notified about the date of the hearing and did not show up in court, thus they were not acknowledged victims in course of the trial. So, it became impossible for the court to restore the rights of the majority of victims.

According to the court, the above mentioned violations of the law of criminal procedure are attributed to the negligence of the investigative task force members in charge of the pre-trial investigation under that criminal case and to the connivance of the investigation authorities’ heads. These breaches have violated the victims’ right of access to court guaranteed in article 52 of the Russian Constitution.

In connection with everything said above the court has demanded that the head of the Investigation Administration of the Investigation Committee for Bashkiria is to be notified about the situation and must take steps to eliminate the errors.

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