The State Prosecutor requested real jail time for defendants charged with abduction and torture of a citizen from Nizhny Novgorod in 2004


28 February 2019
Defendants: Oleg Sorokin and Roman Markeyev, photo:

Today, on 28 February 2019, State Prosecutor Elena Shkarednaya requested real jail time for defendants who are charged with abduction and torture of Aleksandr Novoselov from Nizhny Novgorod. For businessman Oleg Sorokin (taking into account the episode with taking a bribe) – twelve years of prison term, for ex-police officers Evgeny Voronin and Roman Markeyev – eight and seven years, accordingly.

As we have previously reported, on 26 November 2018, the Nizhny Novgorod District Court starts to examine the merits of the criminal case with regard to two former police officers Evgeny Voronin and Roman Markeev, as well as businessman Oleg Sorokin, charged with Aleksandr Novoselov’s abduction and torture, committed in 2004.

Roman Markeev (in 2004 – senior investigative officer of Interdistrict Police Department on Serial and Contract Killings under the Chief Directorate of the Interior of the Nizhny Novgorod region) and Evgeny Voronin (in 2004 – head of this department), are charged with especially grave crimes under items “a, v, g” of Part 2 Article 126 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (“abduction by a group of persons”) and items “a, b” of part 3 Article 286 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (“abuse of office with the use of violence”).

Oleg Sorokin, a businessman from Nizhny Novgorod, is also involved in this case – he is charged of implication in this crime.

In May 2005 Aleksandr Novoselov applied to the Committee Against Torture seeking legal assistance. According to the applicant, at about 10 a.m. on 27 April 2004, on one of central squares of the city, he was stopped by several men he was not acquainted with. The men dragged him into a car, beat him up and drove to a forest in Balakhninsky district of Nizhny Novgorod region. Shortly after, a white all-road car arrived there, and several men stepped out of it. One of them, as Mr Novoselov insists, looked very much like businessman Sorokin. The men were threatening Aleksandr with a gun and beating him, accusing him of an attempt to murder the businessman. Then a man in camouflage rammed a gun in the applicant’s mouth, making his lower lip bleed. Aleksandr once again denied any involvement in the attempt on the businessman’s life, and the men put a plastic bag over his head, cutting off the air supply. The man looking like Oleg Sorokin said: «Take an axe, let’s cut his leg off». Seeing an axe in one of the men’s hands, Aleksandr felt fear for his life and decided to sign the statements wanted from him. The men also made a video record of him giving confession statements.

The battery resulted in serious bodily injuries. Aleksandr was later diagnosed with contusion of the right kidney, a brain contusion, bruising of the soft tissue of the face and limbs, and others.

Mr Novoselov firstly filed complaint with the Prosecutor’s Office. The investigative body refused to initiate criminal proceedings against the police officers, assertedly basing this decision on the results of a pre-investigation inquiry. The reasoning was the following: Aleksandr Novoselov appeared to have been involved in an operative drill performed by the Directorate of the Interior for Nizhny Novgorod region servicemen, and one of them «was disguised as O.V. Sorokin».

Having failed to attain justice on the national level, on 24 December 2005 lawyers of the Committee Against Torture lodged the relevant application with the European Court of Human Rights on behalf of Aleksandr Novoselov.

On 28 November 2013 the ECHR delivered a ruling with regard to it. The Strasbourg judges established that Novoselov was tortured by the representatives of the state, and the investigation of this fact by the Prosecutor’s Office was “shallow” and “formalistic”. At that time, the European Court obliged Russia to pay 27 500 euro to Novoselov.

With regard to the passed ruling of the ECHR, on 12 November 2014 the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation decided to resume the proceedings on Novoselov’s complaint due to new circumstances, however, the criminal case was initiated only on 2 August 2017.

According to the version of the investigatove authorities, in 2004, Evgeny Voronin, willing to obtain information on persons involved in Oleg Sorokin assassination attempt, committed in 2004, developed a plan of psychological pressure on the person who might have had this information. During implementation of this plan, the police officers, including Evgeny Markeev, tracked down Aleksandr Novoselov, forced him in Sorokin’s car and brought to the forest where Sorokin applied violence against him as well as threatened him with applying more violence. Having obtained the required information, they released the abducted.

In the course of today’s court hearing, State Prosecutor Elena Shkarednaya requested real jail time for the defendants. For businessman Oleg Sorokin (taking into account the episode with taking a bribe) – twelve years of prison term, for ex-police officers Evgeny Voronin and Roman Markeyev – eight and seven years, accordingly.

“The objective of operational experiment is creating conditions in which a person may express the involvement in the crime without external actions and any interference. Forcing cannot be considered an operational experience. A person has a right to expect that he will not be subjected to physical or psychic violence”, – lawyer with the Committee Against Torture Sergey Shounin, present in the court room, quotes Elena Shkarednaya.

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