Thirteen years of sabotage and the 20th resumption of the investigation of brutal battery in the penal colony


04 April 2017

Novotroitskiy Investigative Department of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation for the Orenburg region had to finally resume the case based on tortures of Evgeny Svintakov in Penal Colony No 3 in 2003. Despite the court ruling dated 13 January of this year which declared illegal the dismissal of the criminal case, the investigators dragged their heels about resuming it. Only after the repeated application by human rights defenders with the “Committee for the Prevention of Torture” the investigators were forced to restart the criminal case. 

(Evgeny Svintakov)

Let us remind you the background of the case. Starting from 1999 Evgeny Svintakov was serving his sentence in penal institution ЮК 25/3 of Novotroitsk in the Orenburg region (now it is Penal Colony No 3). According to him, on 2 August 2003 three inspectors of the penal colony brought him to the Department for Defense of Public Security and Order, where they brutally beat him up. As a result of a strong blow at his head Mr Svintakov lost his consciousness and came to his senses only in the cell where there were other convicts, apart from him. Having noticed that the condition of the battered man was deteriorating, the penal colony officers were forced to deliver Evgeny to the medical unit, were he lost consciousness again. 
As it was later on demonstrated by the medical forensic examination, Mr Svintakov was inflicted severe bodily injuries in the form of bruises, open trauma of the skull vault on the left, injuries of the left occipitoparietal area. For three weeks Evgeny was in the intensive care unit of Novotroisk hospital. During this time the superiors of penal institution ЮК 25/3 released him from custody on early parole and on 29 August he was sent to the address of his mother’s residence. Evgeny was assigned a disability category, his leg and arm lost their mobility.

On 23 December 2003 a criminal case based on the fact of inflicting a severe bodily hard was opened, however, the official investigation was brutally sabotaged in the course of the next years and is continued to be sabotaged till the present time. Only five years after (!) the case was opened the investigator acknowledged Mr Svintakov as a victim and even came to his place in order to question him as such for the first time. 

In 2007 lawyers of the Committee for the Prevention of Torture submitted a complaint on behalf of Evgeny Svintakov to the European Court of Human Rights. In 2012 it was communicated, and the Russian authorities were asked whether Evgeny was subjected to tortures in the penal colony and whether the authorities are responsible for his disability and how the investigation of this fact progresses. 

Unfortunately, Mr Svintakov will never know the results of the examination of his complaint at the European Court of Human Rights himself, as he died of tuberculosis in 2012.
During thirteen years of investigation of this case at the national level the investigators illegally suspended it fourteen times and dismissed five times. The last dismissal of the criminal case was also declared illegal. The corresponding ruling was passed by judge of the Orenburg Regional Court Oleg Korobenko on 13 January 2017.
Despite this court ruling the criminal case was never resumed, and with regard to this human rights have once again turned to court with a complaint. Today, in the course of examination of this complaint, the representatives of the Investigative Committee provided the court with the copy of the ruling which quashed the dismissal of the criminal case dated 14 December of this year.

“According to the law, the judicial acts, which entered the legal force, are obligatory and are subject to implementation in detail. Here we see that the court ruling was ignored by the investigative authority for two months. Unfortunately, this is not an isolated case in the Orenburg region, – lawyer with the Committee for the Prevention of Torture Albina Mudarisova comments. – We shall certainly insist on brining to responsibility the executives who are guilty of this red tape”.

– In 2015 Head of the Investigative Department Zhalgas Dusenalinov already received the warning concerning the incompetence of his department during the investigation of the criminal case, but sabotage continues. The criminal case has been illegally dismissed for the fifth time. Previously the investigators indicated that the case should be dismissed due to absence of elements essential to the offence, but in June 2016 investigator Kaymakov referred to absence of a criminal act, – human rights defender Vyacheslav Dyundin emphasized. – As if Mr Svintakov never had a severe craniocerebral trauma, never had face-to-face confrontations in the course of which he directly identified the officers who beat him up… Now the materials of the criminal case finally returned to the investigative authority. The investigation has been resumed. For the 20th time. Meanwhile, Mr Svintakov’s complaint was communicated by the European Court of Human Rights, and sooner or later a ruling will be passed with relation to it. The fact of red tape during the criminal case investigation will inevitably influence the amount of compensation”.

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