Today the Nizhny Novgorod Regional Court upheld the ruling of the court of the first instance on fifty thousand rubles as a compensation of moral damage to Anton Golovko, who became a victim of police torture. Lawyers of the Committee for the Prevention of Torture, representing the interests of the victim, intend to lodge a complaint with the European Court of Human Rights, since, in their opinion, the conditional sentence of the police offers and the meager compensation do not comply with the requirements of the European Human Rights Convention.
(Photo: Anton Golovko)
Let us remind you that on 9 September 2015 Anton Golovko from the Sormovsky District of Nizhny Novgorod applied to the Committee for Prevention of Torture for legal assistance. According to him, on 23 March 2012 he was tortured by the police officers of Police Department No.8 in order to make him confess of a theft from a car: police officers beat him up, put a gas mask on his face, choked him and hang him up. Golovko was forced to sign a full confession which by that time had already been written for him by one of the police officers; however, no criminal case was opened against Anton.
Instead the investigative authorities opened a criminal case based on the fact of torture. It should be pointed out that the officers of the Directorate of Internal Security of the Main Directorate of the Ministry of the Interior of Russia for the Nizhny Novgorod region seized a number of material objects from the office of the suspected police officers, including gas masks, nunchucks, ropes.
On the same year of 2012 the criminal case was sent to the district court. The defendants and their defense team tried to topple the case by different means – once the judge had to return the case for the additional investigation. Then Anton Golovko applied to human rights defenders for legal assistance, and they started to represent his interests in court.
On 30 May 2016, judge of the Sormovskiy District Court of Nizhny Novgorod Tatyana Sineva pronounced a verdict with regard to two former police officers of Police Department No.8 of the Sormovskiy District Sergey Baranov and Sergey Batmanov. They were declared guilty of crime under items «а», «b» part 3 Article 286 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation («Exceeding official powers using violence and special equipment»). Baranov was sentenced to 4 years of prison term, Batmanov – to 3.5 years. The court declared the punishment to be a conditional one.
After the verdict entered into legal force the lawyers of the Committee for the Prevention of Torture representing the interests of Anton Golovko, applied to the court with the claim to the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation regarding the compensation of the moral damage inflicted to Mr Golovko by criminal actions of the former policemen.
On 13 October of last year judge of Nizhny Novgorod Regional Court Irina Shkinina partially sustained the claims and adjudged fifty thousand rubles to the victim.
Having failed to agree with this court ruling, lawyers of the Committee for Prevention of Torture appealed against it, however, today the Nizhny Novgorod Regional Court upheld this verdict.
“I would like to point out that after the inflicted tortures Anton still requires treatment, having received not only physical but also serious psychological traumas, and appropriate specialists are still dealing with them, – lawyer of the Committee for the Prevention of Torture Albert Kuznetsov comments. – We think that the awarded compensation does not correspond to the gravity of the inflicted sufferings and we consider it to be unfair. That is why in the nearest future we are going to lodge a complaint with the European Court of Human Rights”.