As it has become known to INGO «The Committee Against Torture» Bashkirian office representatives, the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation effected the last payment and fully paid one and half million rubles as a compensation awarded to the widow and children of teacher of Russian Albert Mukhametzakirov who was killed in 2010 by a drunken police officer.
(Photo: Albert Mulhametzakirov and Vladislav Simukhin)
As we have previously reported, at the beginning of May 2010 Tatiana Ivanova from Ufa applied to the INGO «Committee Against Torture» Bashkirian office complaining that her husband Albert Mukhametzakirov had been killed, allegedly by police officer Vladislav Simukhin.
In the course of public investigation human rights defenders made the following findings. On 1 May 2010 Vladislav Simukhin, while being in a state of alcoholic inebriation, received a service pistol and, instead of starting his shift, drank some more vodka and went to Ufa taking the service pistol and his police uniform with him. There he continued «having fun» together with some acquaintances of his. The next day at about 1:40 pm the police officer, being considerably drunk, came over to a car with Albert Mukhametzakirov behind the wheel. The men agreed that Albert would take the policeman to Demskiy district of Ufa city.
In the car Mr Simukhin paid for the ride and they started off. On the way there occurred an argument between the driver and the passenger (alcohol must have done its part) which resulted in a tragedy – the law enforcement agent shot the teacher in the head, and fled the scene. Mr Mukhametzakirov died from the wound.
On 7 May 2010 Vladislav Simukhin surrendered and gave a confession statement. On 14 May 2010 he was charged with this crime, and the case was referred to the Kirovskiy District Court of Ufa city. Before court the policeman maintained that he had committed the crime by negligence, but the court took the victims’ side and held that Vladislav Simukhin is guilty of the crime under Article 105 (1) of Russian Criminal Code (intentional causing the death to another person) and sentenced him to 10 years of imprisonment to be served in a maximum security penal colony.
On 1 October 2012 the Leninskiy District Court of Ufa city delivered judgment awarding to Tatiana Ivanova compensation of moral damage in the amount of 800 thousand rubles. Nevertheless, on 14 March 2013 the High Court of the Republic of Bashkortostan delivered an unexpected appellate decision which dismissed the plaintiff’s claims for compensation. The bench of High Court judges must have wished to save money for the State, and concluded that the State bears no responsibility for murder committed by a law enforcement officer armed with a service pistol.
Lawyers of the Committee Against Torture who represented Mrs Ivanova’s interests could not agree to this reasoning, and filed a claim for compensation against the External Guards Directorate of the Ministry of the Interior for the Republic of Bashkortostan, which is a state institution. Considering that firearms pose a serious danger to the general public, the owner of this source is to be responsible for any damage, and the owner is the regional external guards directorate.
In the end, on 26 September 2013 the Kirovskiy District Court of Ufa granted the claim for compensation, but only partially. It ordered the defendant to pay 500 thousand rubles compensation. The plaintiff demanded 1 million rubles. On 3 December 2013 the Supreme Court of the Republic of Bashkortostan upheld the court’s ruling.
After the entry of judgment into legal force the human rights defenders applied to the court with similar claims in relation to other victims – two children of Albert Mulhametzakirov. On 6 May 2014 the Kirovskiy District Court of Ufa city fully satisfied these claims, having awarded 500 thousand rubles to each of the killed man’s children. Later on the appellate court upheld this decision as well.
Head of Bashkirian office of INGO «The Committee Against Torture» Dmitry Solodkiy: «Just a few days ago Mukhametzakirov’s widow called me and reported that the state paid all compensation money awarded to her family, at last. We are glad that this story, finally, has come to its logical conclusion and justice has prevailed, as far as possible in this situation».