The court refused to resume a criminal case on the convict’s lethal battery at the Nizhny Novgorod penal colony No.14

News

05 April 2021

The court dismissed the application of the lawyers with the Committee Against Torture and declared the suspension of the criminal case on the fact of lethal battery of convict Aleksandr Kulemin at Penal Colony No.14 (the Nizhny Novgorod region, the Sukhovobezvodnoye settlement) to be legal. Previously, the Investigative Committee investigators illegally suspended this case for eight times. Human rights defenders will appeal against this ruling of the judge and will insist that an effective investigation is conducted.

As we have previously reported, in September 2015, Nina Markova applied to human rights defenders asking to initiate public investigation based on the fact of violent death of her brother, Aleksandr Kulemin, in November 2014, at Penal Colony No.14 (the Nizhny Novgorod region, the Sukhovobezvodnoye settlement). Kulemin’s sentence at the same penal colony started in October 2014, and as early as in November when Markova received a telegram about the death of her brother.
 
Posthumous expert examination of Aleksandr Kulemin also registered numerous bodily injuries on his body: “Closed blunt craniocerebral injury, bruises of the frontal region, nose, extravasation of the upper lid of the left eye, hemorrhagings in the soft tissues of the head in the frontal region, in the circumference of the left and the right cerebral hemispheres (each 15 ml in volume), under soft brain tunics on hemispherical surface of the left and right frontal lobes, swell and cerebral compression, focal hemorrhaging with degeneration of cerebral tissue in the brainstem, closed indirect fractures of the 5-th, 6-th and 7-th ribs on the left, bruises of the left forearm, right forearm, in the area of the left elbow joint, the first finger of the right foot, the second finger of the right foot, the first finger of the left foot, extravasation in the area of the right elbow joint”.

Despite the described bodily injuries, the official special reports of Penal Colony No.14 superiors with regard to these deaths feature one and the same preliminary diagnosis: “acute cardiovascular inefficiency”.

The criminal case with regard to the death Kulemin was opened on 18 May 2015. According to the investigators, a crime under part 4 Article 111 of the Criminal Code of Russia (“intended infliction of grave bodily harm causing the victim’s death by negligence”) was committed.

In April 2018, human rights defenders ensured the transfer of this criminal case to the Investigative Department of the Investigative Committee of the RF for the Nizhny Novgorod region, but no defendants never appeared in the case.

The investigation of this criminal case was suspended eight times due to impossibility to identify the culprits.

On 24 July 2019, investigator of the Second Investigative Section of the First Department for Major Cases with the Investigative Committee of the RF for the Nizhny Novgorod region Ilya Chuyev passed the ninth ruling on suspending of investigation of his criminal case.

For a long time, lawyers with the Committee Against Torture were refused to familiarize themselves with the materials of the criminal case, and only in November 2020 human rights defenders managed to appeal against the ruling of investigator Chuyev on suspending the investigation. However, the court commenced to examine this application only in February of this year.

On 2 April 2021, judge of the Moskovsky District Court of Nizhny Novgorod Yaroslav Denisov dismissed human rights defenders’ application and declared investigator Chuyev’s ruling on suspending the criminal case to be legal.

“The materials of the criminal case have enough of data necessary for identification of the defendants, – lawyer with the Committee Against Torture Sergey Shounin is convinced. However, the investigators still have not performed a number of important investigative activities, which we submitted motions about: many witnesses are not questioned, the post-mortem photos where physical damage of the body of deceased Aleksandr Kulemin (as well as specific marks in the area of the wrists which may indicate the application of handcuffs) is clearly seen. We shall appeal against the ruling of judge Denisov because we think that the investigation was unsatisfactory, and the court did not pay enough attention to the facts which we described in out application”.

As we have previously reported, Penal Colony No.14 (the Nizhny Novgorod region, the Sukhovobezvodnoye settlement) became notorious due to a large number of complaints against brutal treatment and tortures of convicts, as well as numerous cases at Penal Colony No.14 investigative detention facility when confessions were forced applying violence and violent actions of sexual character.

More information on what Penal Colony No.14 was like when Vasily Voloshin was its head, you can learn from Mediazona’s material as well as on the special website dedicated to the search of Vasily Voloshin, who is on the international wanted list.