The court decided not to imprison former deputy head of the Orenburg penal colony


19 June 2020

Today, on 19 June 2020, the Orenburg Regional Court upheld the soft verdict of Deputy Head of Penal Colony No.3 Evgeny Matytsyn who was charged with concealing severe crimes against convicts, despite the opinion of the state prosecutor and the victims, who requested a harsher punishment. As we have previously reported, Matytsyn was declared guilty of abuse of office and sentenced to one year of imprisonment which was substituted by the court by one year of compulsory labor with deduction of fifteen percent of the salary for the benefit of the state. The ruling entered into legal force.

As it was established by the first instance court, the criminal actions of Evgeny Matystyn who was supervising security and operational issues, resulted in concealment of severe crimes against person, preventing from their registration for a long time, which led to significant violation of rights and lawful interests of convicts T. and M., as well as to violation of the interests of the state and the society which are protected by the law. So called “blatnye” (tough guys) jabbed T. with a shank, and convict M. was incited to suicide only because they refused to pay for “quiet life”. The victims are sure that Matytsyn not only covered but also inspired these crimes.

This case, to a large extent, is a result of the work of the Committee Against Torture members. In the period from 2014 to 2017, Timur Rakhmatulin, Albina Mudarisova and Vyacheslav Dyundin, who were also members of the Public Monitoring Commission of the Orenburg region, received numerous complaints from Penal Colony No.3 convicts about battery, money extortion, incitements to suicide through systematic tortures. In addition, lawyers with the Committee Against Torture repeatedly registered with photo cameras bodily injuries on the convicts in the form of hematomas, bruises, extravasations. All the obtained materials were immediately submitted to the Investigative Committee and to the Prosecutor’s Office.

“In September 2018, two years after the first crime report was submitted, the Investigative Committee still initiated the criminal case based on the fact of setting up a criminal group by Evgeny Matytsyn on the territory of the penal institution, with involvement of the Federal Penitentiary Service officers and some convicts, who, according to the ruling on initiating criminal proceedings, were suppressing the psychic of the convicts, intimidated them, imposed the rules and customs of the prison subculture on them, including through battery, – lawyer with the Committee Against Torture Timur Rakhmatulin describes. – At the same time, what are we having at the present moment? The investigative authorities withdrew from criminal prosecution of Evgeny Matystyn under Part 1 and item “a” of Part 3 of Article 286 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation, i.e., in the part of abuse of office with the use of violence or threatening with its use, for which he might have got up to ten years’ prison term. Mr Matytsyn stands trial only for abuse of office, namely, for the fact that he tried to conceal the facts that severe crimes were conducted on the territory of the penal institution”.  

Examination of the criminal case of Evgeny Matytsyn started on 26 August 2019 at the Novotroitsky City Court of the Orenburg region. In the framework of the judicial investigation 37 court hearings were conducted, 30 witnesses were questioned.   

During previous court hearings, paramedic of Penal Colony No.3 medical unit paramedic Marina Vorobyova was interrogated. It is during her shift in 2018 that the incident with convict T. happened, when the so called “blatnye” jabbed him with a shank. She reported to the court not only the events of that day, but also confirmed that convict Matytsyn gave orders not to reflect the true reason of the convict’s applying for medical assistance in the traumas’ log, but to put there only the records that he instructed to include. The witness also reported that if the convicts’ injuries were registered in the log, the log was destroyed by the penal colony administration officers.

In addition, during the court hearing, Marina Vorobyova stated that she feared for her life. In the penal colony, recently she has been hearing barking: “We know what kind of evidence you provide against Matytsyn!” and “The town is small”. In addition, she reported that her former colleagues called her on the telephone and asked to talk about Matytsyn with former head of Penal Colony No.3 Viktor Viryaskin (author’s comment – at the present time Viryaskin is an Acting Deputy Director of the Department of Fire Safety and Civil Defense of the Orenburg region).

On 25 February 2020, judge of the Novotroitsk City Court of the Orenburg region Yuliya Vakulina passed a sentence of Evgeny Matytsyn. He was declared guilty of abuse of office and sentenced to one year of imprisonment which was substituted by the court by one year of compulsory labor with deduction of fifteen percent of the salary for the benefit of the state. In addition, the court imposed an additional punishment on Evgeny Matytsyn depriving him of the right to take positions related to performing the functions of state representative, in law-enforcement, correctional system and self-governing authorities for the period of two years.

Not satisfied with the soft verdict, assistant to the Prosecutor of the Novotroitsky District of the Orenburg region Evgeny Rosenberg submitted an appellate appeal to the Orenburg Regional Court, in which he once again asked to sentence Matytsyn to 2 years and 8 months of prison term with serving the sentence in a standard security penal colony. Once again, the victims asked the court to assign maximum severe punishment to the defendant, involving real prison term.     

The defendant did not acknowledge his guilt (same as in the court of the first instance) and asked the court to for a sentence of acquittal.

Today, judge of the Orenburg regional court Elena Churikova upheld the ruling of the court of the first instance.  

“We consider the verdict to be groundlessly soft, that why we also think that the ruling of the appellate instance is unjust. The victims’ opinions, the degree of their moral and physical sufferings inflicted to them by Matytsyn’s actions have once again remained without the court’s attention, – lawyer with the Committee Against Torture Albina Mudarisova, who represented the victims’ interests, comments on the court’s ruling. – In addition, Matytsyn seriously undermined the reputation of the Federal Penitentiary Service, because he did not only conceal grave crimes committed on the territory of the penal colony, but also involved his subordinates and medical workers. After we receive a copy of the verdict which entered into legal force, we shall submit a cassation appeal in the interests of the victims, as well as file lawsuits claiming that the state pays them a compensation for moral damage inflicted to them by illegal actions of Matytsyn”.   

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