The Investigative Committee decided not to check the statements of Ramzan Kadyrov


04 February 2020

Last week, Governor of the Chuvash Republic Mikhail Ignatyev was fired due to the loss of trust of the head of the state. That is how the Russian President’s press-secretary commented this ruling: “Indeed, we have seen some actions that we are not nice, but rather ugly. The President repeatedly mentioned that any disrespect expressed towards people by power authorities is unacceptable. And as viewed by the President, it is something that absolutely cannot be tolerated. That is how I would explain the decision that the head of the state made”.

Recently, head of Chuvashia Ignatyev twice found himself in the center of the media scandals. The first time he proposed to “whack” certain journalists or bloggers who: “come from different RF regions, settle down here all right. And then start writing I don’t know who and what about seeking only for gaining profit using various schemes. That is why we need to emphasize – they should be whacked, in plain Russian. Simply whacked. We should tell everyone where they came from, with what plans, where they live, where they work, how they earn money. We need to tell about it. I don’t want to educate anyone here, but when the information is distorted, it ultimately injures the ones who circulate it”.

The second time, during handing over of a service vehicle he made the officer of the Ministry of Emergencies of Russia to jump to get the keys from it.

It is because of these “ugly actions” that Mr Ignatyev was fired.

A week before that, Chairman of the Committee Against Torture, member of the Council under the President of Russia for development of civil society and human rights Igor Kalyapin received an answer from the Investigative Department of the Investigative Committee of the RF for the Chechen Republic that the statements of head of Chechnya Ramzan Kadyrov about the Internet users leaving critical comments do not contain any element of crime and it makes no sense even checking those.

Here is a translation from the Chechen language of that statement of the head of the region: “When amity between us is crumbling down – everything is crumbling down. Because those, who commit acts disturbing the amity between people, spreading gossip, telling different things… If we don’t stop them by killing them, putting them in prison, or intimidating them somehow (people committing such acts are mentioned in a humiliating manner in the Chechen language – translator’s note), we will fail”.

Any reasonable man will tell that in our case the context needs to be specified before we can jump to conclusions. With regard to whom it was said, who the executive official might have meant, has he softened his statement which he probably did in a fit of temper?

A reasonable man might specify just in case whether the linguistic expert examination was conducted that would establish not only the word for word translation, but also the context, intonation, the seriousness of the pronounced words. Before accusing anyone, it is necessary to be absolutely sure about the precise interpretation of the translation. For example, one of translators is saying about possible ambiguity of the interpretation in the article in the “Moskovsky Komsomolets” newspaper.

All the comments presented above are just. Before jumping to conclusions (especially, if these conclusions are serious, involving negative consequences), a person should establish all the facts in their completeness and provide their adequate qualification.

Due to his position, the investigator should serve as such reasonable man during assessment elements of crime in the actions of persons in Russia.

That is why human rights defender Igor Kalyapin submitted a crime report as per Articles 144, 145 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation to the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation in November of last year. The procedural history of this document is not as interesting as the final result. Officer of the Investigative Department of the Investigative Committee of the RF for the Chechen Republic Mukhametov referred to the opinion of certain mass media and of Kadyrov himself that the quoted statement is wrongly interpreted and, accordingly, there is nothing to check there. The crime report is not registered as such.

We think that the Investigative Department represented by light colonel Mukhametov in our case violates the norms of the criminal and procedural code of Russia and its own departmental orders. For example, the Criminal Procedural Code directly establishes the following: a crime report, among other things, is a reason for performing the pre-investigative check (part 1 of Article 140 of the Criminal Procedural Code of the RF). Such statements, according to order of the Investigative Committee No.72, should contain specific data. Both requirements were met substantially, as well as formally.

With regard to this, the Committee Against Torture submits an open letter to the superiors of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation and asks to conduct a crime report check according to the law. Taking into account that even at the stage of a check the investigator has the authority to have a translation made and to have a linguistic expert examination of Ramzan Kadyrov’s words’ performed, it will not be too difficult to make a conclusion about either initiating criminal proceedings or refusing to open a criminal case.

In addition to this open letter, Igor Kalyapin will appeal against the response that he received from the Investigative Department of the Investigative Committee of the RF for the Chechen Republic. Thus, the Investigative Committee will have a formal ground to quash the investigator’s ruling about the refusal to conduct the check.

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