The court has found the refusal to open criminal proceedings upon the fact of police abuse in Volzhsk unlawful

Событие | Пресс центр

25 January 2010

The Volzhsk city court of Mariy El has agreed with the reasoning of human rights defenders and found the refusal to open criminal proceedings under the criminal case of Sergey Lebedev issued by an investigator from the Volzhsk Interdistrict Investigation Department under the RF Prosecutor’s Office for Mariy El unlawful and obliged the investigation authorities to make good the defects. You may remember that on 5 March 2009 the Mariy El representation of the Interregional Committee against Torture under Regional NGO “Man and Law” received an application from Sergey Lebedev claiming that on 20 September 2008 he had been detained by the police on suspicion of committing a crime.

ПAccording to Mr. Lebedev, on the way to the Volzhsk Department of Internal Affairs one of the officers hit him on the head with his fist several times demanding that Lebedev should confess to car theft. At the police station the battery continued.

Unable to withstand the pressure and violence and being scared for his life, Sergey Lebedev confessed to that crime. Criminal proceedings were initiated against him, he was taken to the remand prison. In the remand prison the doctors made the following diagnosis: “after-effects of a craniocerebral injury”. After that Lebedev was indicted and found guilty. However, the court mentioned in its judgment that the prosecution had neither checked nor refuted the defendant’s statements about police abuse and it was necessary to consider the fact of injury appearance.

For that purpose on 20 May 2009 lawyers of the Committee against Torture representation in Mariy El sent an address to the head of the Investigation Administration of the Investigation Committee under the RF Prosecutor’s Office for Mariy El asking him to check whether the staff of the Volzhsk Department of Internal Affairs had been involved into the events causing appearance of Mr. Lebedev’s injury. A senior investigator of the Volzhsk Interdistrict Investigation Department under the RF Prosecutor’s Office for Mariy El conducted a check which resulted in a refusal to open a criminal case.  

The Committee against Torture appealed against that refusal to the head of the Volzhsk Interdistrict Investigation Department under the RF Prosecutor’s Office for Mariy El and to the head of the Investigation Administration of the Investigation Committee under the RF Prosecutor’s Office for Mariy El. Both appeals were dismissed.

As a result, the Committee lawyers had to go to court.  In the nearest future the representation staff is going to appeal against the decision of the head of the Investigation Administration of the Investigation Committee under the RF Prosecutor’s Office for Mariy El.