Mikhail Dikin and Aleksandr Dikin, charged with an attempt to assassinate businessman Oleg Sorokin, were sentenced to 16 and 15 years of prison term, and released after 10 and 9 years. The prosecution was based on Aleksandr Novoselov’s evidence, obtained under torture. Today, lawyers with the Committee Against Torture received a conclusion, from which they learned that due to new circumstances of the case, namely, tortures of Novoselov, who provided the evidence, the Nizhny Novgorod Prosecutor’s Office asks the court to quash the verdict of the Dikin brothers.
This story started in 2004, when Aleksandr Novoselov was abducted and subjected to torture. The man was beaten up, choked with a plastic bag, he was threatened to be shot when he was forced to confess of an attempt to assassinate Oleg Sorokin, a businessman from Nizhny Novgorod. «Take an axe, let’s cut his leg off» – after this phrase and a demonstration of a hunting axe, Aleksandr signed the confession, having yielded to torture. The Committee Against Torture performed a public investigation based on the application by Novoselov. The officers of the Ministry of the Interior, guilty of tortures, were convicted.
There is a very important detail in this case: the evidence from Novoselov, obtained as a result of a “operative experiment” (that is how the police officers called the act of abduction and violence) became the basis for the criminal case against brothers Mikhail Dikin and Aleksandr Dikin. They were charged with organizing an attempt to assassinate businessman Sorokin, the same one who was involved in Novoselov’s abduction and tortures. The men were sentenced to 16 (Mikhail) and 15 (Aleksandr) years of prison term, and released after 10 and 9 years, accordingly.
In 2006, when the Dikins case was examined, no one thought it necessary to pay attention to the fact that Novoselov’s evidence was obtained at very strange circumstances, in the forest.
Today, the lawyers with the Committee Against Torture familiarized themselves with the conclusion dated 27 September 2021, from which they learned that the Prosecutor’s Office of the Nizhny Novgorod region requested resuming the proceedings on the criminal case and quashing the verdict due to the newly discovered circumstances: “during examination of the criminal case of M.V.Dikin and A.V.Dikin the court was not aware that, during the operative experiment, violence was applied against A.V.Novoselov”.
“It is necessary to include this case to the educational program of the Academies of the Ministry of the Interior and the cadet corps of the Investigative Committee, — lawyer with the Committee Against Torture Sergey Yurievich Shounin comments. — Once again we are facing the situation when the “evidence” obtained through torture and illegal investigative activities discredit the law-enforcement system. And the most terrible thing is that they destroy the people’s lives”.
We will never stop pointing out that tortures and police violence which damage everyone: the people who suffered from torture, the law-enforcement system and its individual actors. In the story of Aleksandr Novoselov, the Dikin brothers became indirect victims of torture, who were convicted to real jail time. If the court quashes the verdict, they will receive apologies, probably, will be awarded a compensation, but who will return 10 years of life and restore the professional reputation?
On 27 December, in the Nizhny Novgorod Regional Court, an open court session will take place, in the course of which the court will pass the ruling with regard to the Prosecutor’s Office’s ruling.