Today, on 20 January 2021, the Leninsky District Court of Orenburg to collect three hundred thousand rubles from the Ministry of Finance for the benefit of awarding Mushfig Shykhaliyev due to the fact that he was groundlessly suspected of murder of the Orenburg entrepreneur and his son. Despite the fact that Mushfig and two more former defendants in the case complained of having been tortured when forced to provide the required testimony, the criminal case has not been opened until now.
As we have previously reported, on 1 June 2018, Mushfig Shykhaliyev and Ramin Shakhmarov from Abdulino town applied to the Orenburg branch of the Committee Against Torture for legal assistance. The men reported that on 7 March 2018 they were apprehended one by one by the police officers, who, without explaining the reasons, delivered them to Orenburg to the building of the Department of the Interior of Russia for the Orenburg region, located at address: Dubitskogo St., 2.
There, according to the applicants, the police officers tortured them, demanding that they confessed of murder of the entrepreneur from Orenburg and his underage son. Later on, at Pre-trial Detention Facility, Mushfig Shykhaliyev wrote a full confession. According to him, he wrote it after one of the members of administrative staff made a hint to him that he might be raped if he persisted.
However, on 17 March 2018, Shykhaliyev and Shakhmarov were released from custody due to the absence of the evidence of their guilt – the alibi, which they initially reported, was confirmed: at the time of the murder of the businessman and his son they were in Bashkiria, busy with purchasing some meat.
In the end of July 2019, the third person, involved in this case, former defendant Mushfig Guliyev, applied to the Committee Against Torture. He told human rights defenders that he was forced to bear false witness against Shykhaliyev and Shakhmarov with regard to the murder of the entrepreneur from Orenburg and his underage son.
Two months after the apprehension he was also released from custody – his alibi was confirmed by numerous witnesses. However, he was transferred from the Pre-Trial Detention Facility to the special agency for temporary detention of foreign citizens, because while he was in custody, the period when he was authorized for temporary stay on the territory of Russia, expired. Having become a hostage of the developed situation, he was forced to wait for ten more months to be forcefully deported from Russia, until criminal prosecution against him was not stopped.
Mushfig resolved upon turning to human rights defenders only after he had left the territory of Russia.
On 6 June 2018, human rights defenders applied to the Investigative Committee on behalf of Shakhmarov and Shykhaliev with a report on tortures applied against them. On 29 June, the criminal case with regard to the fact of abuse of office was opened, however, as early as on 2 July this ruling was quashed by the Prosecutor’s office.
Starting from 3 July 2018, the investigators of the Third Investigative Department of the Investigative Committee of the RF based in Nizhny Novgorod started checking the torture complaint. By the present time, the investigators issued three rulings refusing to initiate criminal proceedings.
In February 2020, lawyers with the Committee Against Torture ensured that the checking related to these torture complaints is resumed, but this time – at the special department of the Investigative Committee dedicated to law-enforcement officers’ crimes.
By the present time, the investigators have already issued ten rulings dismissing the claim to open a criminal case. The latest of the claims dated 12 October 2020. During familiarization with the materials of the check, the investigators made the lawyers with the Committee Against Torture sign a gagging order.
In November 2020, human rights defenders applied to the court on behalf of Mushfig Shykhaliev with a lawsuit on compensation of moral damage inflicted to him by illegal criminal prosecution.
In order to substantiate the lawsuit, human rights defenders provided procedural documents to court, confirming illegal criminal prosecution, medical records confirming deterioration of Shykhaliyev’s health, as well as a conclusion of a psychologist who confirmed the high level of anxiety with Mushfig and depression symptoms related to the apprehension and the proceedings that followed. Shykhaliyev evaluated the moral damage inflicted by an illegal criminal prosecution at two and a half million rubles.
Today, the judge of the Leninsky District Court of Orenburg Artem Kirichenko passed a ruling to collect three hundred ty thousand rubles from the Ministry of Finance of Russia for the benefit of Mushfig Shykhaliyev as a compensation for moral damage. The defendant represented by the Ministry of the Finance of Russia did not attend the court hearing, but submitted an objection requesting to dismiss the claims under the lawsuit. The representatives of the Investigative Committee and the Prosecutor’s Office asked to satisfy the lawsuit but decrease the amount of compensation.
“Despite the fact that the amount of compensation awarded by the court is several times higher than the one that was awarded in the similar lawsuit of another former suspect in this criminal case, Ramin Shakhmarov, we think that it is not adequate considering the suffering that Mushfig Shykhaliyev experienced. That is why we shall appeal against this court ruling in the part of the amount of the awarded compensation and will continue to insist on initiating a criminal case on tortures”, – lawyer with the Committee Against Torture Albina Mudarisova comments.
As we have previously reported, in 2020, the court rulings on compensation of moral damage to other former suspects in the criminal case on murder of the of the entrepreneur from Orenburg and his underage son came into force. For example, Ramin Shakhmarov was awarded a compensation in the amount of one hundred thousand rubles, and Mushfig Guliyev was awarded three hundred and fifty thousand rubles.