The twenty first refusal to initiate a criminal case on tortures is acknowledged illegal


21 October 2016

For seven years Vyacheslav Timoshchenko from Yoshkar Ola together with his representatives (lawyers from the Committee for the Prevention of Torture) have been trying to open a criminal case with regard to applying violence against him by the police officers. For seven years the investigative authorities have been openly sabotaging the checking on this fact, making illegal resolutions to refuse initiating a criminal case. Deputy Prosecutor of the Republic of Mari El Yury Voronchikhin declared illegal another resolution, the twenty first in succession, and sent the materials to the Investigative Committee for additional checking.

(Vyacheslav Timoshchenko)

The story of this case is the following. On 5 June 2009 Vyacheslav Timoshchenko applied to the human rights defenders for legal assistance. He said that on 29 May 2009 he was arrested by police officers, he was hit in the face during the arrest, after that he was put into the car where they continued to beat him.

– In the car I managed to notice that I was taken outside the city via the Kazansky route. We went into the forest, I was taken out of the car, they started to threaten me, ordered to crawl to the tree, someone hit me on my head, –Timoshchenko remembered. – When I was searched, they found no drugs on me, one of them got furious and said: “it won’t save you, we have got plenty of this stuff”. Sometime later another policeman came up to me and said: “let’s piss on him, bugger him and record it and tell everyone about this, then he will be smacked down.”

Then, according to Vyacheslav, he was taken to Zarechny police department of Ioshkar Ola, where he was beaten again. Timoshchenko gave no required evidence so he was taken to the department of Ministry of Interior of the Republic of Mari El where three parcels with cannabis were taken from the back pocket of his shorts in the presence of the attesting witnesses.  

Based on this fact a criminal case against the young man was opened, and soon afterwards it was sent to court.

That’s where the most interesting part of this story began.

On 24 May 2010 a verdict of non-guilty was announced with regard to Vyacheslav Timoshchenko. Moreover, in the ruling of the court it was declared that the examined circumstances give evidence of the illegal actions of the police officers and of the fabrication of the evidence in this criminal case. The court also decided that the police officers violated the right of Timoshchenko to defense.

Vyacheslav was acquitted with regard to the charges brought against him and got the right to rehabilitation.

On 11 October of the same year he managed to win the case and got eighty thousand rubles from the Russian Federation Ministry of Finance by court actions as a compensation for moral damage inflicted to him by illegal criminal proceedings.

As to Timoshchenko’s report on being abused by the police officers, the checking of this fact has been conducted for seven years already (instead of the thirty days required by the law). During that time twenty one resolutions were made to refuse to initiate a criminal case which were appealed against one by one by the human rights defenders and were acknowledged illegal.

Another “refusal” was called off only after the involvement of the Prosecutor’s Office of the Republic. Before that the head of the Investigation Department and the Prosecutor of Yoshkar Ola acknowledged this verdict of the investigator to be legal. Deputy Prosecutor of the Republic of Mari El did not agree with this opinion and sent the materials back for additional checking.

“I think, there is no need to discuss how “efficiently” the investigation authorities worked on this case, the result of their work is quite eloquent  – twenty one illegal resolutions and no criminal case has been initiated so far, – lawyer with the Committee for the Prevention of Torture Dmitry Yalikov, representing the interests of Vyacheslav Timoshchenko, says. – However, were are going to continue our work on the national level asking to initiate a criminal case with regard to the police officers and also to hold liable the investigators guilty of the red tape. Besides, we are planning to lodge a complaint with the European Court of Human Rights”.  

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