The Moscow City Court dismissed the claim of a retired woman from Khimki related to compensation for inefficient investigation


30 January 2017

The Moscow City Court dismissed Tamara Kuznetsova’s claim on compensation of moral damage inflicted to her by inefficient investigation of her crime report: back in 2013 Kuznetsova complained to the Investigative Committee about the police officers who, in her opinion, illegally applied physical force against her.

(Tamara Kuznetsova)

As we have previously reported, 73-old Tamara Kuznetsova applied to the Committee Against Torture in March 2014. In her complaint Kuznetsova described that on 17 September 2013 she was getting back from her country house with her daughter Elena. The women were carrying flowers and vegetables. Near the Rechnoy Vokzal metro station Elena parted with her mother for some time to visit a shop. According to Tamara, at that moment the police officers approached her (as it will turn out later, they were the police officers of the Levoberezhny District of Moscow – author’s comment), who, having noticed the vegetables, came to the conclusion that she was engaged in illegal trade.

According to Kuznetsova, despite the fact that she did not render any assistance, one of the police officers grabbed her and started to pull her forcing her into the service vehicle (according to the medical report from the first aid station, Kuznetsova had bruises of left shoulder and left forearm).

After having been delivered to the Department of the Interior for Levoberezhny District of Moscow a report on administrative violation was drawn up with regard to Tamara Kuznetsova under Article 11.13 of the Code of Moscow on administrative violations («Course of trade, rendering services out of locations assigned for that»). Later on the prefect’s office inflicted penalty of her, however, the court subsequently quashed this decision, because it was made in absence of Kuznetsova. 

«They gave me some documents to sign. I did not read them, as I was very worried and I felt sick. When I signed the documents I called Elena and she told me she would soon come. I waited for my daughter, and since I was sick, an ambulance was called for me – they gave me an injection and a pill. After that we went home together with Elena», – Tamara Kuznetsova recalled the circumstances of that day.

On the next day Tamara’s daughter Elena filed a crime report to the Investigative Committee with regard to this incident.

On 7 October 2013 this report came to the Golovinsky Interdistrict Investigative Department of the Chief Investigative Directorate of the Investigative Committee for Moscow which was supposed to conduct a check. However, instead of this, the head of the Investigative Department, violating the Criminal Procedural Code of the RF redirected the crime report to the staff inspection of the Department of Interior for the Northern Administrative District of Moscow. For a whole year, till 29 September 2014 Golovinsky Interdistrict Investigative Department was thoroughly avoiding its procedural duties, ignoring even the Prosecutor’s Office ruling (where lawyers of the Committee Against Torture applied with a complaint) on the necessity of conducting the check by the Investigative Committee.  

Unfortunately, even after the Investigative Department started to conduct the check, the investigator expressed his reluctance to work on the case in every possible way. For example, he twice violated the thirty days period of the check, ignoring the legislative form on procedural time limits. The first time the check lasted for forty two days, the second time – as long as six months. For almost two years the investigator failed to interrogate the applicant and the doctors, did not attempt to request video records, medical documents, find witnesses of the apprehension. 

As of today the investigation has issued five refusals to initiate criminal proceedings, four of which were declared illegal and ungrounded.

In June of last year Tamara Kuznetsova underwent a psychological examination, which concluded as a result that the investigators’ work “had negative effect on the state of health of the old woman, having provoked fear susceptibility, disbelief in protective functions of the state, concerns with regard to the police representatives. In the emotional aspect the woman feels helpless, as well as and hopelessness of her attempts to restore justice, she also feels insulted”.

However, the Moscow City Court decided to upheld the position of the Investigative Committee and the Basmanny Court (it had previously dismissed Kuznestova’s lawsuit claims, as well), which amounted to the following extract from the legal judgment: “Refusals to initiate criminal proceedings were quashed according to the procedure approved by the law.  In other words, within the framework of procedural control independent actions were taken which gave evidence to quashing the ungrounded and illegal rulings on refusal to initiate criminal proceedings”.  

– We cannot agree with this opinion at all. The court thinks that if the investigators quashed their illegal rulings on initiating criminal proceedings no one should have any claims against them. However, firstly, the investigator’s quashings the refusals were on their own initiative only formally, whereas actually they happened only after our complaints. Secondly, even after that the new checks did not result in anything, because the investigators failed to perform the necessary checking activities, issuing refusals again. We do not agree to the ruling of the Moscow City Court and we are going to appeal against it in the nearest future, – lawyer of the Committee for the Prevention of Torture Dmitry Piskunov, representing the interests of Tamara Kuznetsova, emphasizes. 

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