The Nizhny Novgorod Regional Court upheld the conviction of the policemen who beat the suspect and planted mephedrone on him


25 May 2023


On 25 May 2023, the court put an end to the case of the former officers of the drug control department. They beat and planted mephedrone on Igor Kraynov in 2019. In December 2022, the district court sentenced them to real terms of imprisonment, but the prosecutor, the CAT’s lawyers and the convicted men themselves challenged that sentence. Today, the regional court upheld the ruling of the district court, slightly mitigating the punishment.

The court found three former senior police officers guilty; two of them were declared guilty under several articles of the Criminal Code simultaneously. Evgeny Sokolov and Nikolay Kostrov were convicted for abuse of office with the use of violence and inflicting grave consequences (Part 3 of Article 286 of the Code) and for illegal storage of narcotic substances in large volume (Part 2 of Article 228 of the Code). For the charged crimes, Mr. Sokolov was sentenced to 4 years and 3 months of standard security penal colony, and Mr. Kostrov – to 4 years and 9 months of standard security penal colony. Aleksey Ivanov was declared guilty of abuse of office using violence and sentenced to 3 years and 3 months of standard security penal colony. In addition, the court stripped them off their special ranks and debarred from employment in law-enforcement bodies for 2 years. In the course of court hearings, the police officers did not acknowledge their guilt. Besides, the regional court excluded from the evidence a reference to a polygraph test, as the lawyers of the Crew Against Torture and the attorney of one of the convicts insisted on that.

The CAT’s lawyer: «When challenging the sentence of the lower court, we demanded that the polygraph examination towards Igor Kraynov should not be taken into account as evidence. Even despite the fact that the results were in favor of the victim, the related report has no scientific validity and cannot be used as the part of the sentence, as it forms the subjective conviction of the investigator, the prosecutor and the court.»

In 2019, 31-year old Igor Kraynov was walking to his work in Nizhpolygraph along the poorly lit yard and saw two men in civilian clothes who were approaching him. They shouted to him: «Stop, police!» Mr. Kraynov did not believe that these were police officers, attempted to run away and ran into a building where video surveillance cameras were installed — the policemen caught up with him there, beat him and planted mephedrone in his pockets. Then Mr. Kraynov was taken to the police department, where during a personal search performed in the presence of witnesses a plastic bag with mephedrone was found. A criminal case was initiated against Mr. Kraynov under article «illegal acquisition and storage of narcotic substances on a large scale without the intent to sell» (Article 228 of the Criminal Code). Later on, that case was discontinued.

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