Today, on 4 June 2018, judge of the Neftekamsky City Court of the Republic of Bashkortostan Ibragim Dautov acquitted head of the local criminal investigation Ilvir Sagitov and his subordinate, Senior Investigative Officer Radim Khairullin, who were charged with torture of detainee Vener Mardamshin. Evgeny Litvinov, representing the interests of the victim, will be appealing against this court ruling in the appeals instance.
As we have previously reported, on 22 November 2016 Vener Mardamshin applied to human rights defenders asking for legal assistance. He said that on 10 November 2016 he was captured by four men; they handcuffed his hands, put a plastic bag on his head, pushed into the car and drove him away in the unknown direction. According to Vener, it turned out later that those were the policemen who took him to the local police department. After that they started beating him using truncheons and an electric shocker forcing him to confess to kidnapping of a woman. But the policemen’s attempts to get a confession to the committed crime from Vener were unsuccessful and they released him after taking an explanatory statement from him where he stated that he had been drinking alcohol with friends and had no claims to the policemen.
According to Mardamshin, an acquaintance of his helped him to get home. Vener’s wife called an ambulance, and the man was taken to the hospital in Neftekamsk, where he was receiving treatment until 21 November, and then was transferred to the hospital of Ufa. Totally, Mardamshin spent twenty seven days receiving hospital treatment. The doctors of Neftekamsk hospital registered the following diagnosis in the discharge summary of the sick person: “Concomitant injury, closed craniocerebral injury. Brain concussion. Concussion of cervical vertebrae. Closed compression fracture of the body of vertebra L1. Closed (old?) fracture of L1 spine vertebra on the right. Concussion of the left side of the pelvis. Both kidneys contusion. Gross hematuria. Numerous concussions, bruises, scratch marks and pinpoint wounds of the soft tissues of the head, body, upper and lower limbs. Post-traumatic ischemic neuropathy of radial nerve of the left forearm. Post-traumatic ischemic neuropathy of the fibular nerve of the left lower leg”.
On 28 December 2016 the first person accused of the crime under items “a, b” of Part 3 of Article 286 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation («abuse of office using violence and special equipment») appeared in this case – Head of the Criminal Investigation of the Neftekamsk police Ilvir Sagitov. Till today we was is in custody at the Detention Facility.
On 25 July 2017 his subordinate became the second accused under the same article – Senior Investigative Officer of the Department for Crimes Against Property of the Criminal Investigations Department of the Department of the Interior for Neftekamsk Radim Khairullin. Travel restrictions are imposed upon him. Today it was lifted.
On 20 September 2017 investigators of the major cases department of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation for the Republic of Bashkortostan completed investigating this criminal case. After the indictment was approved by First Deputy Prosecutor of the Republic Oleg Gorbunov, it was sent to the Neftekasmsky City Court for examination on its merits.
As lawyer with the Committee Against Torture Evgeny Litvinov pointed out, the investigation did not leave the illegal actions of other police officers unattended – the materials of the criminal case against them were severed.
Examination of the criminal case against Ilvir Sagitov and Radim Khairullin started on 1 November 2017 at the Neftekamsky City Court of the Republic of Bashkortostan. In the framework of judicial investigation 15 court hearings were conducted, during which about 40 witnesses were questioned. In the course of the judicial investigation the defendants did not acknowledge their guilt.
During the discussions, State Prosecutor Aleksandra Malikova considered the defendants’ guilt in the charged crimes to be proven and asked the court to sentence Sagitov to six years prison term and Khairullin – to four and half.
Considering the victim’s opinion, lawyer with the Committee Against Torture Evgeny Litvinov asked the court to sentence the defendants to maximum possible real jail time.
In their final statement neither of the defendants acknowledged their guilt, repeating the arguments, previously voiced during the discussions, not only denying they tortured Vener Mardamshin, but also denying they even saw him that day. With regard to this, they asked for an absolution.
Today, judge of the Neftekamsky City Court of the Republic of Bashkortostan Ibragim Dautov declared that Ilvir Sagitov and Radim Khairullin are not implicated in the committing of the charged crime.
The court established that Vener Mardamshin was indeed inflicted the bodily injuries indicated in the expert records. At the same time, the court deemed that non-involvement of the defendants is confirmed by the evidence of their relatives and colleagues as well as by the call details.
With regard to this, judge Dautov passed a ruling to send the criminal case back to the Investigative Committee to resume the investigation and identify the culprits. Ilvir Sagitov was released in the courtroom and Radim Khairullin’s travel restrictions were lifted.
“In our view, the court’s approach to evaluation of the prosecution side’s proofs was biased and one-sided. For instance, the court challenged consistent evidence of the victim and witnesses; at the same time, it gave the priority to the evidence of the defendants’ relatives and colleagues. Neither we, nor the State Prosecutor agree to this ruling of the court, and we will appeal against it, because we think that the defendants’ guilt was completely proven in the course of the preliminary investigation and judicial examination, – lawyer with the Committee Against Torture Evgeny Litvinov, representing the interests of victim Vener Mardamshin, comments. – Actually, in the course of this criminal case the Neftekamsky City Court repeatedly took sides with the police officers: for example, it took Vener Mardamshin into custody and it refused to send Ilvir Saitov to the Detention Facility. However, subsequently both these rulings were quashed by the Republican Court”.