Today the Civil division of the Nizhny Novgorod regional court has tried the cassation appeal of Anton Shestopalov (photo) represented by lawyer of the Committee against Torture Yuriy Sidorov. The applicant appealed against the decision of the Sovietskiy district court of Nizhny Novgorod dated 19 November 2008. The Civil division has dismissed the appeal. The Sovietskiy district court judgment has entered into force.
Earlier the Sovietskiy district court partially sustained the claim filed by Anton Shestopalov complaining of tortures by the police. The investigation has not yet identified the perpetrator in charge of the battery; however, the public prosecution has admitted the fact of ill-treatment. At the time of battery Anton was underage. Mr. Shestopalov supported by the Committee against Torture was granted the status of victim and demanded compensation of moral damage in the amount of 500 000 roubles. The Sovietskiy district court considered that Anton’s sufferings cost not more than 50 000 roubles. Today the judicial division has considered an appeal against this decision. Simultaneously the regional Finance Ministry appealed against the decision claiming that it should be cancelled and the case is to be sent for a new trial. The Nizhny Novgorod regional Finance Ministry openly objects to paying compensations under cases of police abuse – and there is a reason for that. The regional budget does not foresee any payments like that, but the flow of compensation awards resulting from tortures by the police to be paid by the Ministry does not cease.
In Shestopalov’s case the state has again demonstrated its reluctance to provide reasonable compensations for sufferings incurred to victims by state agents. Now the issue of fair compensation is to be considered by the European Court.