The Moscow Regional Court upheld the verdict of former police officer convicted for torture


22 December 2020

Photo: convicted Spartak Sevumyan

Today, on 22 December 2020, the Moscow Regional Court upheld the verdict of former police officer Spartak Sevumyan who was previously found guilty of torturing Boris Martynov and convicted to four years’ prison term with serving the sentence in a standard regime penal colony. Appellate appeals’ arguments are dismissed, the court ruling entered into legal force.

As we have previously reported, Boris Martynov applied to the Committee Against Torture in March 2019 with a complaint about having been beaten up by the police officers in November of last year, who apprehended him on suspicion of drug dealing. Boris said that in the afternoon of 1 November 2018 he and some acquaintances of his used heroin in a forest belt in the outskirts of Krasnogorsk. According to Boris, after they took drugs, three drunk men appeared in the lawn and, without a single word, they started to beat him up together with his acquaintances. When the young men were already lying on the ground, the men explained that they were the police officers. Boris Martynov and three acquaintances of this were taken to the Drugs Control Department of the Directorate of the Interior of Russia for the urban district of Krasnogorsk.

“I was taken into the room and made to sit on a chair. So we sat, still handcuffed. Some officers were constantly coming and going, it was a kind of chaos. At some moment some of the police officers brought a bottle of vodka, they were drinking”, – Boris remembers.

Since Boris Martynov felt bad after apprehension, a medical ambulance was called and it arrived at 7 p.m. Having inspected Martynov, the medics established a preliminary diagnosis “vegetative dystonia syndrome”; no injuries were registered in the medical documents.

“After the medics left, the battery continued. The investigative officers were beating us up because we did not tell them who purchased heroin. One of them was walking around the department with a bottle of beer, he used to come near us and hit us in the face. My nose bled. At some point during the night from 1 to 2 November, the investigative officers said: “Take everything out of your pockets”. I checked the pocket of my jacket, and take out a small rolled plastic bag. I realized immediately they planted

the drug. I threw it on the table, saying: “What are you doing? You know perfectly well this is not mine”. All of them, there was a whole crowd there, started to shout at me: “So?! Is this yours?!” I realized they would continue beating me up, and the pain was already intolerable, so I told them “Well, if you decided so, then, it’s mine”. When I gave consent that “this was mine”, the beating stopped. They even offered me some vodka. We drank a glass each, and I fell asleep on a chair”, – that’s how, according to Boris, the events of that night developed.

On 2 November, at 12.40, Martynov was delivered for inspection to the traumatological department of the Krasnogorskaya City Hospital #1, where he was diagnosed with: “Fracture of VI rib on the right. Contusion of soft tissues of the face. Bruises of both eyepits, color – violet. Extravasation in the left eye sclerae”.

According to the expert’s conclusion, Boris was inflicted with bodily injuries in the form of “fractures of 5th,6th ribs on the left along the center axillary line with misalignment of the bone fragments, which inflicted the health damage of medium severity”.

Martynov’s mother applied to the Department of Internal Security of the Ministry of the Interior of Russia for the Moscow region with a complaint against the actions of the police officers.

A criminal case with regard to Martynov himself was opened under part 2 of Article 228.1 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (“Illegal sale of narcotics”), which was returned for additional investigation on 13 September 2019 during the examination by the Krasnogorsky City Court due to discrepancies identified in the course of the judicial proceedings. On 28 February 2020, the criminal prosecution of Martynov was dismissed due to his non-involvement in the committal of the crime.

On 24 June 2019, investigator with the Investigative Department for Krasnogorsk of the Investigative Committee of Russia for the Moscow region Ekaterina Chutkova initiated a criminal case under item “a” of Part 3 of Article 286 of the Criminal Code of the RF (“abuse of office using violence”).

On 13 November 2019, former investigative officer of drug enforcement department with the Department of the Ministry of the Interior for Krasnogorsk Spartak Sevumyan was detained under suspicion of this crime. On the same day he became involved in the case in the capacity of a defendant.

On 15 November 2019, Sevumyan was put in custody at the detention facility. From 23 January till 4 February 2020, this measure of restraint was changed to house arrest, but this ruling was quashed on appeal by the Moscow Regional Court and Sevumyan was once again put in custody at the detention facility.

The criminal prosecution of the second investigative officer Sergey Seliverstov was dismissed due to his death.

The examination of the criminal case against Spartak Sevumyan started on 19 February 2020 in the Krasnogorsky City Court of the Moscow region. Due to the sudden death of victim Boris Martynov, his rights in the trial were transferred to his mother, Natalya Martynova. During the judicial investigation, defendant Spartak Sevumyan repeatedly changed his testimony, but in the end he acknowledged his guilt in the committal of the crime and at his initiative paid a compensation to the victim party in the amount of two million rubles.

On 3 November 2020, the Krasnogorsky City Court of the Moscow region passed the sentence. Judge Aleksandra Kankisheva declared Spartak Sevumyan to be guilty of committing a crime under item “a” of Part 3, Article 286 of the Criminal Code of the RF (“abuse of office using violence”) and sentenced him to four years’ prison term with serving the sentence in a standard regime penal colony.

Dissatisfied with the court ruling, ex-police officer and his lawyer appealed against the ruling. In their turn, lawyers with the Committee Against Torture also submitted an appellate appeal.

Today, the Moscow City Court dismissed these applications and upheld the ruling of the court of the first instance.

“In general, I think that the violated rights of the victim have been restored in full volume, – lawyer with the Committee Against Torture Petr Khromov, representing the interests of the victim, comments. – However, in our complaint we asked not only to upheld the sentence, but also to deprive Sevumyan of title “senior lieutenant of police”. Unfortunately, the court did not hear out arguments. We think that preservation of a special rank by the convict is the court’s underestimation of the committed office crime”.

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