After one year, Deputy of the Balakhninsky City Prosecutor Vitaly Sidorenko quashed the refusal of the investigator to initiate criminal proceedings with regard to a local citizen complaint about the police battery as illegal. Notably, it was none other than Vitaly Sidorenko, who on 25 January of this year declared the same refusal of investigator Murzayeva to be legal and refused to quash it.
As we have previously reported, Aleksey Shlyapugin from Pervoye Maya settlement of the Balakhninsky District of the Nizhny Novgorod region applied to human rights defenders for legal assistance. In his explanation to human rights defenders Aleksey reported that on 26 June 2017 about midday he came at his garage, where his fellow was, who was using this room for computer equipment repair. According to Shlyapugin, he was about to unload his tools in the garage and to go out to run errands, however, at this moment four men in civilian clothes attacked him.
– They brought me down on the floor in the garage shouting: “Lie down! Where are the drugs?” When they were bringing me down, one of the men hit and kicked me several times with hands against the body and my feet. There were no less than 20 blows, as I remember, and the battery lasted about two minutes, – Aleksey remembers.
According to Aleksey, after the battery ended, the police officers demanded that he confessed of manufacturing and sales of drugs, searched the garage and the car belonging to Shlyapugin, after that they delivered him to the Balakhninsky Police Department.
According to Shlyapugin, at the police department the police officers demanded that he confessed of manufacturing and selling drugs, but he refused to do it. After that he was given some documents to sign, out of which Shlyapugin filled only the report on administrative violation, where he put down a comment that he did not agree to it. Aleksey felt bad due to pain around ribs and asked the police officers to call the doctor; however, no-one reacted to his pleas. Then Shlyapugin was sent to a one-man cell, where he was kept till the morning.
On the next day, the justice of the peace convicted Aleksey to five days of arrest for his refusal to undergo medical examination. As Aleksey points out, the police officers started to insist on medical examination at the very time when the search was being conducted in his car and garage. Feeling concern that if he went for examination, the search would be conducted without his participation, Shlyapugin refused to undergo it until the investigative activity is not complete, and asked to do it later. However, the court sided with the police officers, and the citizen of Pervoye Maya settlement was placed in the detention room in the Pravdinsk microdistrict.
After Aleksey left the detention room, he applied for medical assistance at the first-aid station of the Sormovsky District of Nizhny Novgorod. The doctors diagnosed him with the following bodily injuries: bruises, contusions on the body and thighs. Considering that the pain in the ribs area lingered, on 5 July Aleksey turned for medical assistance to the first-aid station of the Leninsky District of Nizhny Novgorod, where the doctors registered the fracture of the eighth rib from the left.
On 10 July, Aleksey submitted a crime report to the Balakhninsky Interdistrict Investigative Department of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation for the Nizhny Novgorod region, where he described all the circumstances of what happened to him. On 9 August, investigator of this department Evgeniya Murzayeva issued first refusal to initiate criminal proceedings.
In total, during the pre-investigative check, investigator Murzayeva issued five refusals, the latest of which was dated 11 April 2018.
For almost a year, lawyers with the Committee Against Torture were appealing against this ruling, and at last, yesterday, they were notified that the last refusal to initiate criminal proceedings was quashed on 1 April of this year by Deputy Balakhninsky City Prosecutor Vitaly Sidorenko.
Notably, it was none other than Vitaly Sidorenko, who on 25 January of this year declared the same refusal of investigator Murzayeva to be legal and refused to quash it.
“We don’t know for sure what became the reason for Mr Sidorenko to change his mind to opposite and declare the latest refusal to initiate the criminal proceedings to be illegal, while previously he had been insisting on completely different, – lawyer with the Committee Against Torture Anastasia Nikitina, representing the interests of Aleksey Shlyapugin, comments. – In my opinion, in this case our complaint to court against the last refusal to initiate criminal proceedings contributed. In the course of several last court hearings the Prosecutor’s Office representative objected against declaring this ruling of the investigator to be illegal. However, after we indicated at all the gaps and contradictions of the investigation immediately before the judge issued a ruling, the Prosecutor brought to the court Sidorenko’s ruling, quashing the last refusal and requested to stop the complaint’s examination. In any case, we will apply to the higher authorities with the request to check how diligently Mr Sidorenko treats his job and whether his level of competence corresponds to his position”.