The Strasbourg Court dismissed the claim of the Russian Federation to reconsider the judgment under Ms. Olga Maslova’s case, Nizhny Novgorod


23 July 2008

According to the official web-page of the European Court of Human Rights ( the Grand Chamber dismissed the claim of the Russian federation to reconsider the judgment under the case “Maslova, nalbandov vs. Russia” . This means that this judgment became final and is not sbject to any changes. Now the RF government is bound to execute it. In particular, within 3 months the authorities must pay the sum of moral damages awarded to Ms. Olga Maslova and Mr. Fyodor Nalbandov and bring to liability the perpetrators who tortured the applicants. 
You may remember that on January 24, 2008 the European Court of Human Rights unanimously adjudicated that Ms. Olga Maslova from Nizhny Novgorod had been subject to multiple tortures by the Prosecutor’s office staff, and Mr. Fyodor Nalbandov had been subject to violent treatment. Besides, the Strasbourg court pointed out that the Convention rights of both applicants had been breached in terms of effective investigation guarantees. The Court 70 000 euros to Olga Maslova and 10 000 – to Fyodor Nalbandov.
The Russian federation disagreed with the unanimous court decision and on Aril 22, 2008 asked the Court to refer the case to the Grand Chamber. It should be mentioned that the Grand Chamber has the right to reconsider initial judgments if the case raises issues of utmost importance connected to Convention interpretation and application, or when the opinions of judges were substantially different at the time when the initial judgment was taken. Thus, there were no grounds to retry the case. The Committee lawyers were surprised with the decision of the Russian Federation and from the very beginning stated that there could be no retrial.
You may remember that Ms. Olga Maslova from Nizhny Novgorod accuses officers from the Nizhny Novgorod Prosecutor’s office and police of savage tortures and rape that she was subject to in November 1999 when she was questioned as a witness under a criminal case. 
The Interregional Committee against Torture where Ms. Maslova applied for help conducted a public investigation under her application and proved that her claim was justified. For 9 years the Committee against Torture granted Ms.Maslova legal aid on the national level and represented her interests in the European Court.  
However, the rape case has not yet reached the court in Russia. Criminal proceedings against the officers whom Olga accused of raping her – Mr. Milkov, Mr. Zhiryakov, Mr. Serov and Mr. Khmelyov – were stopped.

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