The Investigative Committee refused to initiate criminal proceedings on application concerning illegal use of violence by law-enforcement authorities against a participant of the Moscow protest rallies of 2019, Mikhail Faito. Before issuing a ruling on the absence of element of crime, investigator Maksim Emelin did not perform a single checking activity. Lawyers with the Committee Against Torture will be appealing against this investigator’s ruling.
As we have previously reported, on 3 August 2019, Mikhail Faito was apprehended in the center of Moscow and taken to the Department of the Interior of Russia for Pechatniki District. Subsequently, Mikhail told human rights defenders that he was beaten up by the police officers on the territory of the Department of the Interior of Russia for the Pechatniki District of Moscow when he came out of the police van because he started to pose questions and challenge the legality of the police officers’ actions. That is how he describes the incident: “The bus was parked with its cabin facing the concrete fence, I was brought to this gap between the bus and the fence and made me stand stretching, placing my hands on the fence and spreading my feet widely. I informed the police officers that a search requires attesting witnesses, but they did not respond to my words in any way. After the second remark the police officers started to hit my body. The hits were made with fists in the area of kidneys and ribs, in total about five hits were made, I lost count due to pain. I also received a hit from the back, at the right side just above the kidneys. After this hit I could not breath, I did not have air, I croaked. I felt a strong pulsation in my temples and how my body gets limp. If they had not hold me then, I would have fallen at that moment. I was very frightened; I was afraid they might kill me. This was increased by the memories of their brutal discussions of how they were beating people up.
After that, a bit left from the bus, they knocked me down on the pavement, I fell my face down on my left arm. One of the officers was pulling my body and hair, trying to move me away. The second officer was trying to sit on me in the lumbar area. At the same time, my head was also pressed against the pavement. I felt pain in the left side of my face, my shoulders, ankles and stomach. It hurt practically everywhere, as the police officers were pulling me along the asphalt pavement. After that they handcuffed me and pulled me up upwards sharply using handcuffs”.
The ambulance medics and traumatologist diagnosed Mikhail with: “Ligamentous injury of I-st finger of the left hand. Contusion of the left radiocarpal joint. Bruise of the face, body, limbs”.
With regard to these facts the crime report was submitted to the Investigative Committee of Russia back in 2019. However, no pre-investigative check followed. Despite the requirements of the law and departmental instructions, the Investigative Committee central office officers forwarded it to other agencies – Chief Department of the Ministry of the Interior of Moscow and the Department of Internal Security of Rosgvardiya for Moscow, i.e., exactly to the agencies the officers of which are accused of the crime by the applicant. From there Faito received notifications that the superiors of these agencies do not detect any violations in the actions of the officers of the Ministry of the Interior and Rosgvardiya.
On 15 June 2020, lawyers with the Committee Against Torture submitted an application on behalf of Mikhail Faito to the European Court of Human Rights. In the application the applicant points at the physical violence illegally applied against him by the police officers, as well as to the fact that the Investigative Committee refused even to check this application.
On 26 June 2020, the Lyublinsky District Court of Moscow dismissed the administrative case under article on violation of the rules of participation in the mass event (part 5, Article 20.2 of the Administrative Offences Code of the Russian Federation) with regard to Mikhail Faito. The case was dismissed due to the absence of the element of crime as it was demanded by human rights defenders who were defending Faito. After that, lawyers with the Committee Against Torture repeatedly submitted a crime report to the Investigative Committee where it was registered and a pre-investigative check was initiated.
This has been the first case when the investigators started a check based on an application concerning illegal use of violence against a participant of protest rallies of summer 2019 in Moscow.
Investigator with the Investigative Department for the Tverskoy District of the Chief Investigative Directorate of the Investigative Committee of Russia for Moscow Maksim Emelin was in charge of the pre-investigative check.
On 16 September 2020, he issued a ruling dismissing a claim to open a criminal case. Now, lawyers with the Committee Against Torture received a copy of this ruling.
In his “dismissal”, investigator Emelin reports that “analyzing the material of the check, the investigative authorities come to a conclusion that no sufficient and complete data on the presence of the event of crime provided for in paragraphs “a”, “b” of Part 3, Article 286 of the Criminal Code of the RF”, at the same time, the only ground for the ruling is the listing of the formal elements of the crime – its subjective and objective side, which are contained in any manual of criminal law for legal departments of universities.
“The investigator did not establish or question the police officers who were applying violence, the incident witnesses or even the applicant himself. Neither he noticed or analyzed Mikhail Faito’s medical records. During the check no medical forensic expert examination of bodily injuries was conducted and even the Ministry of Internal Affairs agency check materials are not received, which normally does not present any difficulty for the investigators due to very small work scope required for this. It can be said with certainty that nothing was done on the material of the check, as the ruling itself does not contain any data on the actions taken by the investigative authorities to establish the truth in the case and restore the violated rights of Mikhail Faito”, – lawyer with the Committee Against Torture Petr Khromov, representing Mikhail Faito’s interests, emphasizes.
“Inefficiency of the conducted check and complete inaction of the investigator are simply shocking. The Investigative Committee’s instructions which indicate at the necessity of immediate registering of the crime’s traces and other evidence, apparently, remain only on paper, and the investigator does not intend to implement them, – Petr Khromov continues. – We already submitted a motion to transfer the material for performing the check to the department on investigating the crimes committed by law-enforcement officials, hoping that they would treat this in a more professional manner. And we shall be appealing against an ungrounded and plainly “blank” ruling in a court of law.