The court quashed the conditional sentence of two former Rosgvardiya officers from Chechnya for illegal apprehension of Dagestan, who subsequently disappeared without a trace

News

27 April 2021

Today, on 27 April 2021, the Supreme Court of the Chechen Republic quashed a verdict of the court of the first instance with regard to former Rosgvardiya officers Bekkhan Abdurashidov and Aslan Dukayev, who were under accusation of illegal apprehension of Aleksey Kardashov from Dagestan. The case is sent to court for re-examination. Previously, the Gudermes City Court declared them to be guilty of abuse of office and sentenced them to three and a half years of conditional sentence each.

As we have previously reported, on 15 April 2019, Tsilya Yakubova from Khasavyurt town of the Republic of Dagestan applied to the Committee Against Torture for legal assistance. She reported that on 14 September 2017, her son Aleksey Kardashov brought her to the dentist on his car and she has never seen him since. On the same day, Yakubova applied to the Investigative Committee and reported her son missing.

On 21 September 2017, a criminal case was opened with this regard by the Khasavyurt Interdistrict Investigative Department of the Investigative Committee of the RF for the Republic of Dagestan under part 1 Article 126 of the Criminal Code of the RF (“kidnapping”). On 2 April 2018, criminal cases were initiated with regard to the fact of theft of money from Kardashov’s bank cards, as well as of his car. Later on, all the three criminal cases were joined in one procedure.

On 15 October 2018, based on Omarov’s evidence, investigator of the Khasavyurt Interdistrict Investigative Department of the Investigative Committee of the RF for the Republic of Dagestan initiated criminal proceedings with regard to Aleksey Kardashov’s murder. In November 2018 the case was transferred to the first department for major cases with the Investigative Department of the Investigative Committee of the RF for the Chechen Republic, due to the fact that Omarov gave testimony that the Chechen law-enforcement officers were involved in Kardashov’s kidnapping.

On 11 January 2019, four Chechen law-enforcement officers Kalogi Aziyev, Alikhan Yusupov, Aslan Dukayev and Bekkhan Abdurashidov were put on a wanted list with regard to Aleksey Kardashov’s abduction: Deputy Head of Interdistrict Department No.2 of the Narcotics Control Department of the Ministry of the Interior of Russia for the Chechen Republic Kalogi Aziyev, head of the same department Alikhan Yusupov, as well as the officers of the Department of the Federal Service of National Guard troops for the Chechen Republic Aslan Dukayev and Bekkhan Abdurashidov.

However, after the criminal case was transferred to the Chechen investigators, the circumstances changed abruptly. On 15 February 2019, Omarov suddenly applied to the Department of the Interior for the Gudermes District himself with a confession of Kardashov’s murder. So from a witness Omarov turned into a defendant.

Despite the new evidence provided by Omarov, in March 2019, Dukayev and Abdurashidov were arrested on suspicion of Kardashov’s abduction. They were charged under item “a”, Part 2 of Article 126 of the Criminal Code of the RF (“abduction of a person performed by a group of persons”). Later on, Abdurashidov and Dukayev were charged under item “a” Part 3 of Article 286 of the Criminal Code of the RF (“abuse of office using violence”). Subsequently, the investigative authorities made a distinction between the actions of Omarov and the actions of former Rosgvardiya officers Abdurashidov and Dukayev, having severed a criminal case against former law-enforcement officers.

On 29 November 2019, after the criminal case was returned from the Prosecutor’s Office for the third time, the investigative authorities decided to requalify the Rosgvardiya officers’ actions in the framework of the applicable criminal legislation. Abdurashidov and Dukayev were charged with a crime under Part 1 of Article 286 of the Criminal Code of the RF (“abuse of office without using violence”). According to the new theory of the investigative authorities, the law-enforcement officers only conducted illegal apprehension of Kardashov, having violated a territorial and departamental jurisdiction, but at the same time, they did not apply violence and did not have intention of abducting Aleksey.

At the present time, Kalogi Aziyev and Alikhan Yusupov are still on the federal wanted list.

On 23 November 2020, judge of the Gudermes City Court of the Chechen Republic Arbi Ibragimov declared Said-Magomed Omarov guilty of committing the crimes under part 1 of Article 105 of the Criminal Code of the RF (“murder”) and part 3 of Article 158 of the Criminal Code of the RF (“theft”) and sentenced him to nine years of jail time with serving a sentence in maximum security penal colony. On 17 March 2021, the panel of judges of the Supreme Court of Chechnya satisfied the demands of the appellate appeal off by the lawyers with the Committee Against Torture and quashed the verdict of the court of the first instance, having sent the case for a new court examination.

On 14 December 2020, the Gudermes City Court of the Chechen Republic declared Abdurashidov and Dukayev to be guilty of the charges and sentenced them to three and a half years of conditional sentence each.

Lawyers with the Committee Against Torture appealed against this verdict.

Today, judge of the Supreme Court of the Chechen Republic Bariyat Denisultanova satisfied the claims of the appellate appeal submitted by the human rights defenders and quashed the verdict of the court of the first instance with regard to Bekkhan Abdurashidov and Aslan Dukayev, having sent the case for a new examination to the Gudermes City Court.

“Quashing the verdict of Dukayev and Abdurashidov and sending the case for re-examination is a chance to bring the court’s attention to a multitude of important pieces of evidence, ignored by the court of the first instance, which, as we think, show that the convicted are guilty of much more serious crimes than just illegal apprehension, – lawyer with the Committee Against Torture Leysan Mannapova comments. – In court, we shall be demanding that the charges against former Rosgvardiya officers are changed and that the criminal case is re-submitted for additional investigation, to be joined with the criminal case of Omarov, the criminal case of Aziyev and Yusoupov, and the criminal case of unidentified person who stole the money from Kardashov’s bank card. Kardashov’s disappearance must be examined in the framework of one judicial process for truth to be established and a fair ruling to be passed”.