The Avtozavodsky Court of Nizhny Novgorod declared illegal the dismissal of a criminal case against former police officer Sergey Zemskov who was charged with abuse of office with the use of violence (item “a” of Part 3, Article 286 of the Criminal Code). Despite the video available with the investigative authorities and proving this fact, the investigator did not find the element of crime in the actions of the police staff. However, after the court ruling the investigation of the case will be resumed.
Marina Bukhvalova was apprehended in May 2019 due to public drunkenness. At the police department, the woman came up several times to the police officer with a question when she was going to be released. After one of such questions, he handcuffed her to an iron bench. In response Bukhvalova started to move the bench. In response, Zemskov twisted the woman’s arm and hold her in this position for about a minute.
— Instead of taking the apprehended woman to the special premises, as it is required by the law, the police officer handcuffed her, which is a violation in itself. After that, Zemskov applied a painful hold, referring to the fact that the woman, allegedly, tried to run together with the bench. He did not stop despite the fact that Bukhvalova fell and shouted that she was in pain, — lawyer with the Committee Against Torture Irina Zhizhenkova comments.
A camera of the witness recorded the violence applied against Bukhvalova. The words of the police officer addressed to Marina, who threatened that she would complain against his actions: “What are you going to claim and to whom, you pig”, “tell them that you were treated like an animal. Because that is who you are – an animal”.
Later on, the record was broadcasted in the local TV channel. After that, a criminal case was opened against Zemskov. The Ministry of the Interior performed an agency check based on which he was fired.
Ten months later, in March 2020, the investigator with the Avtozavodsky Department of the Investigative Committee dismissed the criminal prosecution of the former police officer due to absence of the element of crime. Lawyers with the Committee Against Torture have repeatedly attempted to apply against this ruling.
— Today, the court sided with us and agreed that the dismissal of the criminal case is illegal. It seems that the court gives the Investigative Committee the second chance. The investigative authorities have the video available where the crime is seen, what else is needed for effective investigation? We will be insisting on bringing Zemskov to criminal responsibility, because such attitude towards the man by the state representatives is unacceptable. As they say, “When you see a police officer, go to the other side of the road”. Is this the image of the police officer we should strive for? — Zhizhenkova commented.