Today, on 4 September 2018, the Supreme Court of the Republic of Bashkortostan quashed the verdict of not guilty with regard to head of the local criminal investigation Ilvir Sagitov and his subordinate, Senior Investigative Officer Radim Khairullin, who were accused of electricity torture of detainee Vener Mardamshin. The case will be examined again by the Neftekamsky City Court, but with a different judge.
(Defendants Radim Khairullin and Ilvir Sagitov)
As we have previously reported, on 22 November 2016 Vener Mardamshin applied to the Committee for the Prevention of Tortures asking for legal assistance. He said that on 10 November 2016 he was captured by four men; they handcuffed his hands, put a plastic bag on his head, pushed into the car and drove him away in the unknown direction. According to Vener, it turned out later that those were the policemen who took him to the local police department. After that they started beating him using truncheons and an electric shocker forcing him to confess to kidnapping of a woman. But the policemen’s attempts to get a confession to the committed crime from Vener were unsuccessful and they released him after taking an explanatory statement from him where he stated that he had been drinking alcohol with friends and had no claims to the policemen.
According to Mardamshin, an acquaintance of him helped him to get home. Vener’s wife called an ambulance, and the man was taken to the hospital in Neftekamsk, where he was receiving treatment until 21 November, and then was transferred to the hospital of Ufa. Totally, Mardamshin spent twenty seven days receiving hospital treatment. The doctors of Neftekamsk hospital registered the following diagnosis in the discharge summary of the sick person: “Concomitant injury, closed craniocerebral injury. Brain concussion. Concussion of cervical vertebrae. Closed compression fracture of the body of vertebra L1. Closed (old?) fracture of L1 spine vertebra on the right. Concussion of the left side of the pelvis. Both kidneys contusion. Gross hematuria. Numerous concussions, bruises, scratch marks and pinpoint wounds of the soft tissues of the head, body, upper and lower limbs. Post-traumatic ischemic neuropathy of radial nerve of the left forearm. Post-traumatic ischemic neuropathy of the fibular nerve of the left lower leg”.
On 28 December 2016, the first person accused of the crime under items “a, b” of Part 3 of Article 286 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation («abuse of office using violence and special equipment») appeared in this case – Head of the Criminal Investigation of the Neftekamsk police Ilvir Sagitov. Before the judgment was passed, he stayed in custody at the Detention Facility.
On 25 July 2017 his subordinate became the second accused under the same article – Senior Investigative Officer of the Department for Crimes Against Property of the Criminal Investigations Department of the Department of the Interior for Neftekamsk Radim Khairullin. Before the judgment was passed, travel restrictions were imposed upon him.
On 20 September 2017, investigators of the major cases department of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation for the Republic of Bashkortostan completed investigating this criminal case. After the indictment was approved by First Deputy Prosecutor of the Republic Oleg Gorbunov, it was sent to the Neftekasmsky City Court for examination on its merits.
As lawyer with the Committee Against Torture Evgeny Litvinov pointed out, the investigation did not leave the illegal actions of other police officers unattended – the materials of the criminal case against them were severed.
Examination of the criminal case against Ilvir Sagitov and Radim Khairullin started on 1 November 2017 at the Neftekamsky City Court of the Republic of Bashkortostan. In the framework of judicial investigation 15 court hearings were conducted, during which about 40 witnesses were questioned. During judicial investigation, the defendants did not acknowledge their guilt.
In the course of discussions State Prosecutor Aleksandra Malikova deemed the guilt of the defendants in the charged crimes to be proven and asked the court to sentence Sagitov to six years prison term, Khairullin – to four and a half years.
Lawyer with the Committee Against Torture Evgeny Litvinov, taking into account the stance of the victim, asked the court to sentence the defendants to the maximum possible prison term.
In their last statement neither of the defendants acknowledged their guilt, having repeated the arguments voiced previously during the discussions – that they did not torture Mardamshin and did not see him on that day, at all. With regard to this they asked the court to pass the verdict of not guilty.
On 4 June of this year, judge if the Neftekamsky City Court of the Republic of Bashkortostan Ibragim Dautov declared Ilvir Sagitov and Radim Khairullin to be not involved in the charged crime.
The court established that Vener Mardamshin was indeed inflicted the bodily injuries indicated in the expert examinations. At the same time, the court deemed that non-involvement of the defendants-police officers is confirmed by the evidence provided by their relatives and colleagues as well as by their call details. With regard to this, judge Dautov declared that the case is to be returned to the Investigative Committee for resuming the investigation and search of the culprits. Ilvir Sagitov was released in the court room, Radim Khairullin’s travel restrictions were lifted.
The State Prosecutor, human rights defenders and Vener Mardamshin’s defense lawyer did not agree with the verdict of not guilty and appealed against it in the appeals instance, deeming that in the course of judicial examination the guilt of the defendants was fully proven and that the court of the first instance passed a ruling wrongly interpreting the evidence of the prosecution.
Today, in the Supreme Court of the Republic of Bashkortostan the appellate complaints of all the participants of the prosecution were examined. Having listened to the arguments of the parties, the court retired to the consultation room, after which it passed a ruling to quash the verdict of not guilty with regard to Ilvir Sagitov and Radim Khairullin and submit the criminal case for new examination to a different judge at the Neftekamsky City Court. In addition, the court imposed travel restrictions on the defendants.
“We are satisfied with the court ruling, which quashed the verdict of not guilty, and we hope that the new judge who will be in charge of the criminal case examination, will pay more attention to the gathered evidence and will pass a fair ruling”, – lawyer with the Committee Against Torture Evgeny Litvinov, representing the interests of Vener Mardamshin, commented.