Will the killers of children be ever prosecuted?


21 June 2007

The military prosecutor’s office – military unit no.20119 – once again refused to acknowledge the murder of villagers of Khal-Keloy which happened in 2000 to be a crime. Today the NN Committee Against Torture has received a copy of yet another decision of refusal to open a criminal case

    Deputy military prosecutor R. Tarshis persistently fails to see any crime in the violent death of a baby and its several relatives who died in 2000 as a result of shootings in village Khal-Keloy, committed by unidentified military men.

    According to the prosecutor’s office which has already thrice pretended to have carried out inquiries into the matter, the actions of the military men only “formally have the signs of a crime”. Apparently that is the reason why the inquiries have been three times carried out formally.

    The measures Mr. Tarshis takes and the grounds he gives in his decisions might have been funny if he dealt with something else but a murder. In his decision he again refers to the fact that the crime was not registered by the local police station and prosecutor’s office. Apart from this argument which doesn’t corroborate the murder, he discovered two more arguments which also do not corroborate the event of crime. He learned that the bodies had not examined by forensic experts before they had been buried. And he interviewed several people who had not been in the place of the shootings and those people, naturally, did not corroborate the murder.

    If that is the case, Mr. Tarshis could interview somebody from another region of Russia and they would not corroborate the murder too.

    The course of the “investigation” is clear to the Committee. The prosecutor did not take a single measure to establish the fact of the murder. Mr. Tarshis cynically ignored the instruction of his superior to visit the place of the crime in village Khal-Keloy. Mr. Tarshis deliberately shuts his eyes to the documents, submitted by the Committee, which evidence the violent death of the villagers. He sees no need in questioning the direct witnesses of the shootings.

    The NN Committee Against Torture is convinced that such officials like lieutenant colonel Tarshis must not have the right to serve in law enforcement agencies. They not only question the right to an effective remedy, guaranteed by the Constitution but also disgrace the Russian Federation before the international community. Exactly because of such officials Russian citizens have to apply to the European court of Human Rights.

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