On February 27 the Sarov city court (Nizhny Novgorod region) convicted district police officer Sergey Belokobylsky for abuse of office. He was sentenced to 4 years of actual imprisonment.
There were two defendants altogether – policemen Sergey Belokobylsky and Alexander Schukin, both accused of abuse of office and cruel beatings leading to death of former paratrooper Sergey Titorov. However, judge Alexey Karpunkin decided that the detainee had been tortured only by Sergey Belokobylsky who was found guilty and sentenced to 4 years in prison. The second defendant – Alexander Schukin – was acquitted.
Besides, the court again acquitted the defendants under the charge of infliction of grave damage to health leading to death, the case was referred for additional investigation to the Russian Investigative Committee. Lawyer Ekaterina Dorozhkina representing Titorov’s relatives’ interests is convinced that the acquittal was due to pre-trial investigation defects. “I think that many investigative steps have been omitted under this case”, says the lawyer.
We would like to remind you that on April 18, 2011 the Sarov district court had already acquitted Sergey Belokobylsky and Alexander Schukin, the verdict had stirred up the Sarov community, but CAT lawyers had managed to have the judgment quashed in the court of cassation.
The public investigation conducted by INGO “Committee Against Torture” has established that on August 6, 2010 the policemen cruelly beat Sergey first in his home, and later at a police station in order to make him sign a confession to an administrative offense he had not committed. The Russian Investigative Committee has arrived at a similar conclusion. The police officers many times hit Sergey in various body regions, including into the areas of vital body organs. As a result of the beatings Sergey obtained numerous bruises, fractures of three ribs, a lien rupture, and on August 7, 2010 the hero paratrooper who had been to hot spots, had been decorated and wounded in Kirovabad, died of hemorrhagic shock incurred by an acute blood loss due to the lien rupture in the intensive care department of the Sarov city hospital.
“When representing victims under torture cases, we are aware that it is not always possible to identify and prosecute the culprits. At the same time, the court should not leave ill-treatment unpunished, this is crucial to maintain public trust, the rule of law and ensure crimes prevention”, – points out CAT public investigation inspector Vitaly Kuleshov. Another important task of the ICAT is to check whether the authorities have done their utmost within their jurisdiction to prosecute those in charge of tortures and impose an adequate punishment on them. With regard to that, CAT lawyers are going to appeal against the verdict in part of acquittal.