The Committee Against Torture demands an effective investigation into the death in Sergach


17 November 2010

Relatives of late Vladimir Potapov (photo) find it highly probable that doctors who failed to provide timely medical assistance are responsible for the death.

   On 18 November 2010 at 11.00 in Sergach the appeal of the ICAT lawyer against the refusal to instigate criminal proceedings upon the fact of Vladimir Potapov’s death will be heard.

   You may remember that the deceased’s sister applied to the Interregional Committee Against Torture claiming that on 23 April 2010 her brother had not returned home from work and in the evening the same day they had learnt  that Potapov had been taken to hospital from the sobering-up station with a craniocerebral injury. He was operated on in the Sergach Central Hospital, sank into a coma and died without regaining consciousness on 29 April 2010.

   There are grounds to suggest that there should be a thorough official investigation into the actions of the medical staff, in particular, the paramedic of the Emergency Medical Service who refused to take Vladimir Potapov to hospital  and authorized his placement in the sobering-up station. The Sergach investigation authorities conducted a check into the fact of Potapov’s death. It revealed that Potapov could have obtained injuries before his placement into the medical detoxification centre.

   The Investigation Committee sent the materials of the check to the Sergach District Department of Internal Affairs for it to decide whether criminal proceedings should be instigated against doctors who had failed to provide timely medical assistance to Potapov and had sent him to the sobering-up station instead of hospital.

   On 5 August 2010 acting district investigator of the Sergach District Department of Internal Affairs Troshin issued a refusal to open a criminal case on the given allegations.

   This refusal is unlawful and ill-founded in the opinion of the ICAT staff, leave alone that it is plainly illiterate. By way of illustration, we would like to furnish a quotation which demonstrates the way the refusal to conduct an investigation is motivated. Mr. Troshin writes in his decision: “since the check into the given incident was not complete following the instructions of the head of the Investigation Department under the Sergach District Department of Internal Affairs”, it is not possible to decide whether criminal proceedings should be instigated.

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