On 9 September 2015 at 10.00 the Sovetskiy District Court of Nizhny Novgorod will again 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 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.
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).
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 convicted them to five years prison term in a standard regime penal colony. Their defense team was not satisfied with the court decision and on 4 March of this year 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 31 March judge of the Sovetskiy District Court Vitaly Bondarenko passed a ruling on sending the case back to the Prosecutor. This ruling was appealed against by the lawyers of the Committee Against Torture, representing the interests of Aleksandr Dmitriyev, and by the appellate petition of the Prosecutor, which were satisfied by the Regional Court on 21 July.
Lawyer of INGO «The Committee for Prevention of Torture» Sergey Romanov, who will be representing the interests of Aleksandr Dmitriyev in the course of the court hearing: «This criminal case will now be examined by a third in a row judge of the Sovetskiy District Court of Nizhny Novgorod. Victim Aleksandr Dmitriyev, who recently has been assigned a second degree of disability, is going to file another motion to the judge asking to have the case examined in absentia, since his state of health prevents him from attending each court session».