Today, on 30 March 2007 the criminal panel of judges of the Supreme Court of Russia has considered the appeal under the ill-famous case of Aleksandr Shkurin and dismissed it. It means that the sentence of the Nizhny Novgorod Regional Court in respect of three policemen from Arzamas has entered into force.
You may remember that policemen – Mrs. Shalnov, Arzhatkin and Bikhtyaev – were found guilty of cruel treatment of Aleksandr Shkurin and Andrey Tatarinov, charged with the theft of a pig, and Andrey Nikishov, a witness. As a result of the cruel treatment Mrs. Tatarinov and Nikishov got serious bodily injuries and Mr. Shkurin died in hospital on 30 August 2005. The mother of late A. Shkurin applied to the NN Committee Against Torture for assistance and our experts investigated into the matter. Besides, she was granted a lawyer.
The Court acknowledged that Mr. Shalnov’s guilt of willful infliction of serious injures to health entailing death and abuse of official power had been completely proven. The actions of Mr. Arzhatkin were legally revised as falling under para.2 art.302 of the Criminal Code (coercion to give evidence associated with the use of violence). Mr. Bikhtyaev was found guilty under three articles of the Criminal Code – coercion to give evidence committed with the use of threats, falsification of evidence under a criminal case by an investigator and attempted fraud. The Court sentenced investigator of the Arzamas District Police Station Bikhtyaev to 12 years’ imprisonment, district criminal police officer Arzhatkin to 6.5 years’ imprisonment and criminal police officer Shalnov to 17 years’ imprisonment of high security.
The NN Committee Against Torture underlines that the Nizhny Novgorod Regional Prosecutor’s Office had opened the criminal case in due time and effectively investigated it. The public prosecution also showed great professionalism during the legal proceedings.
The NN Committee Against Torture hopefully believes that such competent and responsible attitude of prosecution officials, like they have demonstrated in the case Aleksandr Shkurin, will be a crucial factor of their activities in ensuring rights and interests of citizens.