The Investigative Committee investigators dismissed a claim to open a criminal case with regard to the death of Aleksandr Tselischev from Nizhny Novgorod, however, the Prosecutor’s Office demanded to quash this ruling as illegal and perform additional check. As we have previously reported, on 22 October 2020, Aleksandr and some friends of his were apprehended by admittedly Drug Enforcement officers and delivered to the building of the Drug Enforcement Department with the Chief Directorate of the Ministry of the Interior of Russia for the Nizhny Novgorod region. Sometime later, under unclear circumstances Aleksandr fell from the window of this building and died.
On 13 January 2021, Lyudmila Tselischeva applied to the Committee Against Torture for legal assistance. He told human rights defenders that in the evening of 22 October 2020 her son Aleksandr Tselischev went to the fitness-club and did not return. According to Lyudmila, on the next day, police officers came to her house with a search, after that they informed her that her son was dead and asked her to come for identification. According to Lyudmila, she could not go for identification due to the shock and asked her relative and a colleague to do that, who later on told her that they identified Aleksandr, but he did not have a right eye and his face was embedded inward.
In addition, according to Tselischeva, she learned from the police officers that on 22 October her son and a friend of his were allegedly apprehended by Drug Enforcement Department officers and delivered to the Drug Enforcement Department with the Chief Directorate of the Ministry of the Interior of Russia for the Nizhny Novgorod region, where subsequently Aleksandr fell from the window.
On the same day, his corpse was delivered to the Department of medical forensic expert examination of the Avtozavodsky District. In the death certificate the expert indicated that the death was caused by “a blunt concomitant injury”, “falling from the height with doubtful intentions”.
On 21 January 2021, lawyers with the Committee Against Torture applied to the Investigative Committee on behalf of Lyudmila Tselischeva with a crime report with regard to the death of her son.
On 10 February, Senior Investigator with the Investigative Department for the Nizhny Novgorod region of the Investigative Committee of the RF for the Nizhny Novgorod region Albert Urusov, based on the results of the conducted check, dismissed the claim to open a criminal case, having indicated in his ordinance that “no illegal or violent actions against A.S.Tselischev which resulted in his death, were carried out.”
In the course of the check, the investigator questioned the Drug Enforcement officer who participated in apprehension, as well as conducted a questioning of A.S.Tselischev in the room of the seventh floor of Drug Enforcement Office of the Chief Directorate of the Ministry of the Interior for the Nizhny Novgorod region. According to this police officer, he was registering Aleksandr’s explanation and at some point of time he turned to this work station. Then he heard a sound of an opening window, after that he realized that Tselischev jumped out of the window.
On 24 February, Deputy Prosecutor of the Nizhegorodsky District of Nizhny Novgorod Vladimir Mityurin passed a ruling in which he deemed the check conducted by investigator Urusov to be incomplete and demanded to quash the investigator’s dismissal and conduct an additional check with regard to the fact of Mr Tselischev’s death. According to Mityurin, investigator Urusov failed to perform the necessary checking activities, in particular, he did not seize the records of video surveillance cameras, did not examine the window handle group for Tselischev’s traces, did not question the mother of the deceased, did not established by expertise how exactly Aleksandr fell out of the window.
Today, lawyers with the Committee Against Torture received a copy of this ruling. “Investigator Urusov considers the incident to be a suicide, without having properly examined all the circumstances of the incident, which is directly shown by the drawbacks indicated by the Deputy Prosecutor in his ordinance on quashing the dismissal, — lawyer with the Committee Against Torture Kristina Diogidze comments. — We are enraged by the fact that the investigator has not perform all necessary checking activities in time but intends to conduct them only four and a half months after the incident, and even that after the demand from the Prosecutor’s Office and not at his own initiative. We shall insist that the law-enforcement officers conduct a thorough check with regard to the fact of Aleksandr’s death and that a legal and just ruling is passed”.