Today the criminal division of the Supreme Court of Bashkiria has found the decision of the Leninsky district court of Ufa dismissing the appeal against the decision to terminate criminal proceedings initiated upon the fact of Anton Saveykin’s murder by officers of the Special Department of the Federal Drug Control Service for Bashkiria unlawful.
You may remember that on 11 September 2008 officers of the Special Department of the Russian Federal Drug Control Service for Bashkiria killed Mr. Anton V. Saveykin during a special operation conducted to detain Mr. A.V. Peretyagin suspected of possession of drugs. Mr. Saveykin by chance happened to be in the area of desultory fire started by the police, was shot and died. The Drug Control Service staff mistook Mr. Saveykin for Mr. Peretyagin. By the way, in course of the promiscuous firing in a busy street two bullets also hit a passenger bus and a taxi, and it’s a happy coincidence that there are no more victims. Anton Saveykin’s parents applied to the Committee against Torture for help upon the fact of their son’s murder.
Having conducted a public investigation, the Bashkirian representation of the Committee against Torture concluded that the state had breached art.2 (right to life), art. 3 (prohibition of tortures) of the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.
Initially, the Investigation Committee prepared three refusals to open a criminal case, but after the CAT appealed against unlawful actions of investigators, on 2 December 2008 criminal proceedings were opened under p.2 art.109 of the RF Criminal Code (reckless homicide due to negligent performance of official duties).
It took the authorities eight months to investigate the case. It was evident that instead of an objective investigation the authorities were trying to collect proofs of state agents’ innocence. The investigator performed necessary investigative activities only after the victims filed certain motions. Nevertheless, despite the motions that had been sustained, some witnesses were not questioned. Many facts were not determined and checked. At the same time heads of the Investigation Administration under the RF Prosecutor’s Office for Bashkiria ignored the victims’ complaints and did nothing to conduct an objective investigation. As a result, on 2 August 2009 criminal proceedings were terminated. Specialists of the Committee against Torture appealed against the decision on termination of the proceedings. However, the Leninsky district court of Ufa found the investigator’s decision lawful without even studying the materials of the criminal case and checking whether the investigator had taken into account the injured party’s statements. The criminal division of the Supreme Court of Bashkiria cancelled their colleagues’ decision by finding it unlawful and ill-founded.