The Ministry of Finance will pay a hundred thousand rubles to a former double murder suspect


12 May 2020
Ramin Shakhmarov

Today, on 12 May 2020, the Orenburg Regional Court upheld the ruling of the District Court to award 100 thousand rubles to Ramin Shakhmarov as a compensation of moral damage for ungrounded suspicion of murder of the Orenburg businessman and his son. Lawyers with the Committee Against Torture will be appealing against this ruling in the part of the awarded compensation. As we have previously reported, despite the fact that Ramin and two more former suspects in this case complained of having been tortured when forcing them to provide the evidence that the investigation needed, no criminal case has been opened yet.

On 1 June 2018, Mushfig Shykhaliyev and Ramin Shakhmarov from Abdulino town applied to the Orenburg branch of the Committee Against Torture for legal assistance. The men reported that on 7 March 2018 they were apprehended one by one by the police officers, who, without explaining the reasons, delivered them to Orenburg to the building of the Department of the Interior of Russia for the Orenburg region, located at address: Dubitskogo St., 2.
According to Ramin Shakhmarov, his abuse started in the vehicle which transported him to Orenburg. For example, Ramin’s handcuffed hands were placed on the back of rear seat – he stayed in this position for the duration of the trip which lasted over three hours. Ramin claimed to have been repeatedly insulted because of his ethnic origin.

As Shakhmarov explained, almost immediately upon arrival at the building of the regional Department of the Interior, the police officers started to beat him up, forcing him to confess of committing a crime. He did not know what crime it was. He was also shown some handcuffs and asked whether he recognized them or not.

– Some time later the police officers told me that I killed a man and his little son and suggested that I voluntarily confessed of committing it. I refused, after that the battery continued, – Shakhmarov recalls.

According to Ramin, his nose and mouth were closed with a plastic bag several times to block the air access. At some moment he lost his consciousness and, when he came to his senses, he saw five police officers around him, who looked rather scared.

– After I came to my senses, I sat on the floor. However, the police officers pressed me against the floor and started to thrust against my back and neck, demanding that I confessed of murder. At that moment blood started to come out of my throat. Sometime later the battery stopped. Although, I never signed anything, – Ramin says.

Mushfig Shykhaliyev was also delivered to the building at Dubitskaya street. According to him, the police officers started to beat him up, hitting the head, the back and the abdomen.

– Then they showed photographs of bodies of a man and a kid and told me that my acquaintance and my cousin gave testimony that I did it, – Shykhaliyev recalls. – I tried to explain that I had an alibi and on that day I was in Bashkiria and was buying meat, which is easy to prove with documents. But they replied that no one was going to check anything and I had better confess of everything.

According to Mushfig, one of law-enforcement officers several times pressed on his genitals with his foot for a long time, forcing him to confess. Later on, they beat his feet with an electrical shocker.

– When I asked to take me to toilet, the officer, who was pressing my genitals and hit me in the area of the head, told me that they could bring me to the toilet only to dip my head into the toilet bowl, – Mushfig Shykhaliyev recalls.

In the evening of 8 March both men were taken to the Temporary Detention Cell of Orenburg, and on 10 March the court took Mushfig Shykhaliyev and Ramin Shakhmarov under custody as suspected of committing double murder and sent them to Pre-trial Detention Facility No.1. When in Pre-trial Detention Facility, Mushfig Shykhaliyev wrote a full confession. According to him, he wrote it after one of the members of administrative staff made a hint to him that he might be raped if he persisted.

However, on 17 March, Shykhaliyev and Shakhmarov were released from custody due to the absence of the evidence of their guilt – the alibi, which they initially reported, was confirmed: at the time of the murder of the businessman and his son they were in Bashkiria, busy with purchasing some meat.

On 6 June, human rights defenders applied to the Investigative Committee on behalf of Shakhmarov and Shykhaliev with a crime report. On 29 June, the criminal case with regard to the fact of abuse of office was opened, however, as early as on 2 July this ruling was quashed by the Prosecutor’s office.

Starting from 3 July, the investigators of the Third Investigative Department of the Investigative Committee of the RF based in Nizhny Novgorod started checking the torture complaint. By the present time, the investigators issued three rulings refusing to initiate criminal proceedings.

In February 2020, human rights defenders ensured that the checking related to these torture complaints is resumed, but this time – at the special department of the Investigative Committee dedicated to law-enforcement officers’ crimes.

Previously, in July 2019, human rights defenders applied to court on behalf of Ramin Shakhmarov with a lawsuit on compensation for moral damage inflicted to him by illegal criminal prosecution.
To justify the lawsuit, human rights defenders presented in court, among other things, the conclusion of a psychologist, who confirmed that Shakhmarov had signs of posttraumtic stress disorder, as well as the notes from medical documents confirming deteriorating health of the plaintiff. Shakhmarov evaluated the moral damage inflicted by the illegal criminal prosecution at one million roubles.

On 26 December 2019, the Leninsky District Court of Orenburg passed a ruling to collect one hundred thousand roubles from the Ministry of Finance as a compensation for moral damage for the benefit of Ramin Shakhmarov.

Not satisfied with the amount of the awarded compensation, lawyers with the Committee Against Torture submitted a complaint to court requesting to satisfy the lawsuit fully. However, today, the panel of judges of the Orenburg Regional Court chaired by Elena Zuderman upheld the ruling of the court of the first instance.

It should be pointed out that the representatives of the Prosecutor’s Office and the Investigative Committee asked to upheld the ruling of the court of the first instance.

“We shall definitely appeal against the court ruling in the part of the amount of the awarded compensation, because it is not possible to call it fair and just, – lawyer with the Committee Against Torture Albina Mudarisova comments. – Apart from that, we will continue to ensure that the criminal case on torture is opened”.

As we have previously reported, in the end of July 2019, the third person who was involved in this case – ex-defendant Mushfig Guliyev – applied to the Committee Against Torture. He told human rights defenders that he was forced by torture to defame Shakhmarov and Shykhaliyev providing false testimony that they killed the Orenburg businessman and his underage son.

Guliyev was also released from custody two months after the apprehension — his alibi was confirmed by numerous witnesses. However, he was transferred from the Pre-Trial Investigative Facility to a special institution for temporary detention of foreign citizens, because when he was under custody, the period for which he was authorized to stay on the territory of the Russian Federation, expired. Having found himself to be a hostage of the situation, he was forced to wait ten more months to be forcefully deported from Russia.

According to Mushfig during this time he was afraid to apply to anyone for legal assistance, as he feared for his life. Only when he returned to Azerbaijan, he felt safe and decided to apply to the Committee Against Torture

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