Orenburg Regional Court obliged Sergey Kolotov, the Head of the regional Investigative Division of the Investigative Committee, to conduct pre-investigation check in relation to his employee, Almaz Salikhov, the head of the southern investigation department in Orenburg who did not abide by the rulings of the court for two years. In case a criminal case is initiated the officer of the Investigative Committee may face imprisonment up to two years.
This story started precisely two years ago, when Albina Mudarisova, the lawyer of the Committee for the Prevention of Torture, on behalf of Vladimir Arkhipov (details of his case), petitioned the court because investigator Averin who conducted the checking of Averin’s crime report of the tortures in the police office did not present a number of materials for examination. No wonder, the court made a ruling that these actions of the investigator are illegal and obliged his chief, Almaz Salikhov, to present the required procedural documents.
The time passed by but the ruling of the court was not executed. Then human rights defenders made a decision to apply to the Prosecutor’s Office which after checking the work of the investigator recognized the fact of the red-tape and made a submission addressed to the head of the investigation department to eliminate the breaches.
Prosecutor’s submission did not convince Mr. Salikhov to follow the norms of the Code of Criminal Procedure. Neither Arkhipov, nor Mudarisova could study the materials on the crime report of the police torture.
After that human rights defenders applied to the court twice and the court twice obliged Almaz Salikhov to submit the procedural documents for examination. Despite the absurd character of the situation, it did not change.
Due to the deliberate non-compliance with the court rulings on 13 January 2016 human rights defenders applied to the Investigative Committee with the report of the crime. It was not long until the investigative authorities responded: Mudarisova and Arkhipov received the materials immediately. However, the regional Investigative Division of the Investigative Committee referring to the inter-departmental instruction refused to register the crime report in relation to the head of the investigating department of the fact of his deliberate non-compliance with the rulings of the court.
Mudarisova points out: ”The line of argument was rather odd. According to the instruction, if the applicant applies to the Investigative Committee because he disagrees with the taken decision, this application cannot be considered as a crime report, and so there is no reason to conduct pre-investigation check. But we applied based on the fact of the non-compliance of the court rulings seeing elements of crime there.”
Naturally, the refusal to register the crime report was appealed in court. Surprisingly the court of first instance agreed with the arguments of the regional Investigative Division of the Investigative Committee, but on 13 September this year the Orenburg regional court made a ruling that the decision on refusing to register the crime report was illegal and obliged Sergey Kolotov, the head of Orenburg investigation department to conduct the checking in relation to his subject, Almaz Salikhov.
Mudarisova says: “The story which began as a trivial breach of the Code of Criminal Procedure that still resulted in the significant limitation of the applicant’s rights now may bring the officer of the Investigation Committee to the defendants’ bench. We hope that the authorities of the regional Investigative Division of the Investigative Committee will not only abide with the ruling of the court and check our crime report, but will do it efficiently making a reasonable decision, in the end.”