The Committee Against Torture insists on prosecution of the Nizhny Novgorod citizen who has defamed the police


02 August 2010

Vitaly Balabanov from Nizhny Novgorod who claimed that the police had broken his arm has been lying to the CAT lawyers and investigation authorities. The Committee Against Torture thinks that Mr. Balabanov should be held accountable.

   The Interregional Committee Against Torture has not established the fact that Mr. Balabanov was subject to inhuman or degrading treatment by the police and has terminated the investigation under his application.

On January 12, 2010 Vitaly Balabanov applied to the ICAT claiming that he had been beaten by the patrol and point-duty service staff in Sovietskaya Square, Nizhny Novgorod.  According to Mr. Balabanov, the police broke his arm and stole 5 thousand rubles from him.

Specialists of the CAT started a public investigation. At the same time the Investigation Committee also conducted its own investigation under Balabanov’s application. It should be mentioned that in this case the conclusions of human rights defenders coincided with the conclusions of the official inquiry. The investigation results suggested that Balabanov’s statements were not true.  The forensic medical examination and the comprehensive examination showed that Balabanov did not have an arm fracture.

Later it turned out that the key witness of the beatings, allegedly just a passer-by who had witnessed the scene of abuse, was Mr. Balabanov’s close friend.

That person immediately abandoned his testimony about police abuse as soon as the fact of his relationship to the applicant was disclosed.

In the context of the pre-trial investigation the authorities conducted an identification parade during which Balabanov failed to identify the alleged perpetrators.

By the way, a few words about the robbery. Balabanov got mixed up when he named the stolen amount. First he spoke about 5 thousand rubles, however the witness- Vitaly’s relative who had given him the money – claimed two thousand. Upon the whole there is no evidence whatsoever that the police had withdrawn even 10 rubles from the applicant.

Judging by the outcome of the investigations, there are grounds to believe that Vitaly Balabanov and his relatives decided to defame the police for some unclear reasons, probably, in order to obtain compensation.

The investigation authorities have closed the case. The ICAT, in its turn, thinks that Mr. Balabanov’s actions amount to breach of article 306 of the RF Criminal Code (intentional false denunciation).  The Committee specialists think that Balabanov’s actions should be subject to legal assessment and the applicant himself should be held responsible. The ICAT has sent a relevant address to Mr. Vladimir Stravinskas, head of the Investigation Administration for Nizhny Novgorod region, and Mr. Viktor Bratanov, head of the Nizhny Novgorod Regional Directorate of the Interior.

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