The Court of Cassation upheld the acquittal of Orenburg police officers in the case of beating and threatening to rape a detainee


02 February 2024


The Court of Cassation of General Jurisdiction has examined the complaint of the lawyers representing the interests of the victim, as they challenged the acquittal of the perpetrators. The state prosecution also considers these three officers guilty of torture. According to the investigators, the policemen ill-treated an Orenburg resident for several hours and threatened him with rape.

The lawyers who represent the interests of Gennady Shvetsov have challenged the acquittal for the second time. At the end of March 2023, the Tsentralny District Court of Orenburg acquitted police officers Yevgeny Strelkov, Aset Kulkushev and Danila Nikulshin on the charge of excess of authority with the use of violence (para. “a” of part 3 of article 286 of the Criminal Code). The District Court decided that their actions did not constitute a crime. In August 2023, the Orenburg Regional Court upheld the District Court’s ruling.

The Crew Against Torture shares some statistics: «One should recall that only 0.15% of all defendants are acquitted by Russian courts. However, for the state agents the situation is rather different and the number of acquittals under the article on excess of authority is 25 times higher than under other articles of the Criminal Code (3.72%). The present case illustrates this feature well

Gennady Shvetsov described the torture incident in 2021. He explained that in the morning of the 4th of October unknown people came to his house, introducing themselves as police officers. Mr. Shvetsov was taken to the police station no. 2 of the Intermunicipal Department of Interior «Orenburgskoye» and only there he learned that he was suspected of phone theft. Mr. Shvetsov claimed that he had not stolen the relevant phone, but had received it from his acquaintance as a guarantee of returning the debt. As Gennady recalled, the policemen beat him and threatened to rape him.

Mr. Shvetsov recalls the following: «While I was lying on the floor, the officers kicked me on the back. One of the policemen told me to undress myself. I refused to do it. Then he said he was going to penetrate inside me and would put me on a bottle.»

The ill-treatment lasted the whole day. The young man was released only in the evening when his uncle and the attorney arrived at the police station. Later, the forensic expert found multiple abrasions and bruises on Gennady’s body.

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