The court has found the termination of proceedings upon the fact of sportsman’s murder by the drug police unlawful


14 September 2010

The Supreme Court of Bashkiria thinks that the refusal to investigate into famous sportsman Saveykin’s murder by the drug police is unlawful.

   Today the Supreme Court has upheld the decision of the Leninsky district court ruling the refusal to instigate criminal proceedings upon the fact of the young man’s death ill-founded and unlawful. 

On 11 September 2008 officers of the Special Department of the Russian Federal Drug Control Service for Bashkiria were conducting a special operation in Oktyabrsky to detain Mr. A.V. Peretyagin suspected of possession of drugs. Mr. Saveykin by chance happened to be in the area of desultory fire started by the police, was shot and died. The Drug Control Service staff mistook Mr. Saveykin for Mr. Peretyagin. By the way, in course of promiscuous firing in a busy street two bullets also hit a passenger bus and a taxi, and it’s a happy coincidence that there are no more victims. Anton Saveykin’s parents applied to the Committee against Torture for help upon the fact of their son’s murder.

 Having conducted a public investigation, the Bashkirian representation of the Committee against Torture concluded that the state had breached art.2 (right to life) of the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.

Initially, the Investigation Committee prepared three refusals to open a criminal case, but after the CAT appealed against unlawful actions of investigators, on 2 December 2008 criminal proceedings were opened under p.2 art.109 of the RF Criminal Code (manslaughter due to negligent performance of official duties).

   It took the authorities eight months to investigate the case. It was evident that instead of an objective investigation the authorities were trying to collect proofs of state agents’ innocence. The investigator performed necessary investigative activities only after the victims filed certain motions. Nevertheless, despite the motions that had been sustained, some witnesses were not questioned. Many facts were not established and checked. At the same time, heads of the Investigation Administration under the RF Prosecutor’s Office for Bashkiria ignored the victims’ complaints and did nothing to conduct an objective investigation. As a result, on 2 August 2009 criminal proceedings were terminated. Specialists of the Committee against Torture appealed against the decision on termination of the proceedings.

    Specialists of the Interregional Committee Against Torture prepared an appeal against the decision to terminate the proceedings. It has taken the courts 2 years to try the appeal under article 125 of the RF Criminal Procedure Code. Earlier, the Leninsky district court of Ufa had two times found the investigator’s decision lawful without even studying the materials of the criminal case and checking whether the investigator had taken into account the injured party’s statements. The criminal division of the Supreme Court of Bashkiria had two times cancelled the decisions of the Leninsky district court of Ufa by finding it unlawful and ill-founded.

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