Yesterday, on 17 July 2007 the Nizhny Novgorod Regional Court by its ruling once and for all acknowledged that the decision of refusal to open a criminal case on the ground of unlawful detention of minor Dmitry Andronov in a detention center adopted by the Sovetsky District Prosecutor’s Office was unlawful.
You may remember that Dmitry Andronov was arrested by the decision of the Pavlovo District Court of 26 February 2007. He was accused of a serious crime, which is being investigated by the prosecutor’s office of Pavlovo district. However, Dmitry Andronov claims to have been beaten by policemen and prosecution officials of Pavlovo, and as a result of the torture he had suffered he was compelled to give evidence against himself.
The NN Committee Against Torture, whereto Mr. Andronov applied, gathered enough evidence corroborating the use of unlawful violence (torture) in respect of Dmitry Andronov. It does not mean that Mr. Andronov is not guilty, but it undoubtedly means that police and prosecution officials are guilty of a serious crime, namely the use of torture against Mr. Andronov.
Having analyzed the decision of refusal to open a criminal case, experts of the NN Committee Against Torture came to a conclusion that the arrest of minor Andronov was unlawful and ungrounded. Besides, there were reasons to believe that his detention in custody would be used to exert additional pressure on him.
A complaint was lodged against the decision of arrest and the Nizhny Novgorod Regional Court annulled it on 9 March 2007. The decision of the regional court to release minor Andronov from custody was immediately delivered to the detention center for execution. However, the staff of the detention center (SIZO IZ-52/1) refused to release Mr. Andronov. They explained their refusal saying that it was the end of the working day, and, as it was Friday, recommended Dmitry’s mother to wait until Monday. The fact that the minor prisoner would spend three extra nights behind the bars was not considered them as a violation of his rights.
Ms. E. Mayorova, the prosecutor on duty of the Nizhny Novgorod Regional Prosecutor’s Office, where human rights defenders immediately applied to did not see any essential violation of Dmitry’s rights too. Mr. Andronov was released on 10 March (Saturday) in the morning only after a member of the Public Council set up by the Regional Department of Internal Affairs had intervened with the situation.
On 13 March 2007 Igor Kalyapin, the chairman of the NN Committee Against Torture, lodged a complaint with the Sovetsky District Prosecutor’s Office requiring it to open a criminal case on the ground of unlawful detention of minor Dmitry Andronov in custody. However, Mr. S. Kozyrev, a senior investigator of the prosecutor’s office, refused to open a criminal case, concurring with his colleagues in the prosecutor’s office, who believed that it was normal when a teenage boy was at first unlawfully arrested and then kept in custody despite the court’s decision which read: “TO RELEASE IMMEDIATELY”.
A complaint was lodged against this decision with the Sovetsky District Court. On 18 May 2007 judge L. Dobrogorskaya quashed it as unlawful. Representatives of the prosecutor’s office did not agree with the court’s decision and appealed against it. On 17 July by the ruling of the regional court the decision of judge L. Dobrogorskaya was upheld and the appeal of the prosecutor’s office dismissed.
Now senior investigator Svyatoslav Kozyrev will have to carry out a new inquiry into the matter and make a new decision in accordance with Law but not in defiance to it! Furthermore, the NN Committee Against Torture will be striving for a punishment for dishonest prosecution officials that commit violations of law of criminal procedure.