The court will once again examine the legality of refusal to initiate criminal proceedings with regards to Sergey Pestov's death

Событие | Пресс центр

18 July 2016

Today judge of the Moscow City Court Natalia Moushnikova quashed the ruling of the court of the first instance which declared the refusal to initiate criminal proceedings with regards to «Zhar-Ptitsa» band ex-drummer Sergey Pestov’s death to be legal. Now the Baboushkinskiy District Court of Moscow will again examine the legality of the refusal, this time the court will have a different composition.

(Sergey Pestov, source of photo: vk.com)

As we have previosuly reported, on 10 September 2015 Irina Pestova from Dubna, Moscow region, applied to INGO «The Committee for Prevention of Torture» for legal assistance. She told the human rights defenders that on 4 September the police officers apprehended her husband Sergey Pestov and a few other people in his garage and took them to the local police department. At night everyone, except for Sergey, was released, and in the morning the ambulance took Sergey from the police department in the state of coma. Almost immediately after that he was delivered to medical institution he died.

On the same day, 5 September, the Investigative Committee started the check with regards to Pestov’s death. On 26 November investigator of the Main Investigative Directorate of the Investigative Committee for the Moscow region Vagiz Bekyashev issued a refusal to initiate criminal proceedings.

Lawyers of the Committee for Prevention of Torture, representing the interests of the musician’s widow, submitted a complaint against this refusal to the Prosecutor’s Office and the superior bodies of the Investigative Committee, as well as to the court.

On 29 March 2016 judge of the Babushkinskiy District Court Aleksey Gloukhov dismissed this complaint, using the following arguments: «investigator’s refusal to initiate criminal proceedings is legal and justified, because in the course of the conducted check it was established that actions of the officers of the Department of the Ministry of the Interior of Russia for Dubna urban district of the Moscow region did not involve illegal actions and essential elements of offence».

Lawyers of the Committee for Prevention of Torture appealed against this court ruling. As a result, today judge of the Moscow City Court Natalia Moushnikova quashed the ruling of the court of the first instance and delivered a judgment that the human rights defenders’ complaint shall be examined again at Baboushkinskiy District Court of Moscow, this time the court will have a different composition.

«From the very start of the check the Main Investigative Directorate of the Investigative Committee of the RF for the Moscow region has been trying to put different obstacles for the public monitoring of the investigation by human rights defenders. First of all, this is expressed in the attempts to prevent the widow and us, her legal representatives, from familiarizing with the materials of the pre-investigation check. Only in the course of the judicial proceedings with regards to the appeal against the refusal to initiate criminal proceedings we managed to get hold of a small selection of documents, which was provided to us by the Investigative Committee’s representative in a condescending manner. At the same time the investigator showed up at every court hearing with all the five volumes of the materials of the check, but he refused to provide them for familiarization to widow’s representatives, and the court supported him, – lawyer of the Committee for Prevention of Torture Dmitry Piskounov comments. – In substantive provisions of today’s ruling the Moscow City Court did not indicate the specific grounds on which the Baboushkinskiy Court ruling was quashed, but most likely it was related to the procedural violations committed by the court of the first instance. Out complaint will be examined once again at Baboushkinskiy District Court of Moscow, this time the court will have a different composition».