The court in Nizhny Novgorod continues to examine a criminal case on "envelope" police torture in 2011


02 June 2016

The Sovetskiy District Court of Nizhny Novgorod continues to examine the criminal case against former police officers of Police Department No. 7 for Nizhny Novgorod Aleksey Sokolov and Vadim Volkov, charged under Article on «exceeding official powers with use of violence and special equipment». As we have previously reported, in 2014 the former police officers were declared guilty of committing the crime by the court of the first instance and spent over a year in a pre-trial detention center. However, after the appeal against the verdict, they managed to succeed in having this case reviewed due to technical mistakes of the court.

(Vadim Volkov and Aleksey Sokolov)

We would like to remind you of the circumstances of the case in examination. On 6 March 2011 Aleksandr Dmitriyev was unlawfully apprehended by the police officers of the Sovetsky District of Nizhny Novgorod on suspicion of theft, which he, as it was revealed later, did not commit. After his «conversation» with the criminal investigation department officers Dmitriyev signed a confession statement. Vertebral fracture and inpatient admission became other sad results of «enhanced interrogation» of Aleksandr.

According to Dmitriyev, who applied to the Committee Against Torture for legal assistance, the policemen were beating him and used the method of torture known as «envelope» (victim’s hands are twisted behind the back and handcuffed, legs are tied together and with the hands so that the victim is «folded» like an envelope).

(Aleksandr Dmitriyev)

On 13 April 2011 criminal proceedings were initiated following Aleksandr’s ill-treatment complaint, but on 6 October 2011 the case was closed on the grounds that no crime had been committed. However, due to the efforts of the Committee Against Torture which called the media attention to this case, on 10 May 2012 the case was reopened and transferred to the first department of the Nizhny Novgorod region Investigative Committee Investigative Department.

As a result on 23 January 2014 the Sovetskiy District Court of Nizhny Novgorod pronounced the guilty verdict for two former police officers with Police Department no. 7 Aleksey Sokolov and Vadim Volkov and sentenced them to five years prison term. Their defense team was not satisfied with the court decision and on 4 March 2015 filed an appellate complaint against it. The convicts, who spent over a year in the detention center, were released in the court room, and their measure of restraint was changed to the house imprisonment, and the case was sent back for reexamination to the district court.

On 9 September 2015 the Sovetskiy District Court of Nizhny Novgorod once again returned to examining this criminal case.  

«In the course of a court hearing former emergency doctor Tatyana Lyabina was questioned as a witness. She confirmed that during the admission to City Hospital No.39 Dmitriyev explained to the doctors that we was beaten up in the police department. Another witness, former police officer Oleg Gusev, told to the  court that Dmitriyev did not offer resistance during apprehension, he had no visible bodily injuries and he went in a police car on his own, after that he was delivered to the police department. One more witness, Oleg Kolesnikov, confirmed that he and Dmitriyev shared a hospital ward in March 2011. He saw the handcuffs’ marks on the hands of the applicant, and the latter told his ward mates that the police officers had beaten him up and applied “envelope” torture», – lawyer of INGO «The Committee for Prevention of Torture» Sergey Romanov, representing Aleksandr Dmitriyev’s interests in the course of the court hearings, described.

It will be remembered that Dmitriyev is a disabled person of group II, and his state of health does not allow his presence at each court session. With regard to this he petitioned the court for examining his case in his absence.

The next court session is scheduled for 9 June 2016. 

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