Today the Lazarevsky District Court of Sochi began the preliminary hearing of the case against the OMON (special police force) personnel charged with the abuse of official powers. As you may know, the victims assert that policemen carried out an aggressive mopping-up operation in the Druzhba youth camp, as a result of which many people, including minors, were abused.
You may remember that the Committee Against Torture together with other Russian human rights NGOs created a combined mobile group and carried out a public investigation into the incident.
In the course of today’s sitting defence lawyers of eight policemen who are on the dock moved several motions, including one to change the preventive measure imposed on their clients. The court adjourned the hearing until 5 September when these motions are decided.
It should also be added that in the course of the pretrial investigation into the case conducted by the regional prosecutor’s office, the investigators got indications that some of the accused policemen had been involved in a number of other crimes. So the Lazarevsky District Court will also examine their alleged involvement in crimes that have nothing to do with the incident in the Druzhba camp.