fbpx The verdict of two ex-police officers and a businessman who abducted and tortured a citizen from Nizhny Novgorod in 2004, came into effect | Committee against Torture

The verdict of two ex-police officers and a businessman who abducted and tortured a citizen from Nizhny Novgorod in 2004, came into effect

News

15 April 2019
Convicts Oleg Sorokin, Evgeny Voronin and Roman Markeev

On 12 April 2019, the panel of judges of the Nizhny Novgorod Regional Court upheld a judgement of conviction by the court of the first instance regarding two former police officers Evgeny Voronin and Roman Markeyev, as well as of businessman Oleg Sorokin. The verdict came into legal force.

As we have previously reported, on 26 November 2018, the Nizhny Novgorod District Court starts to examine the merits of the criminal case with regard to two former police officers Evgeny Voronin and Roman Markeyev, as well as businessman Oleg Sorokin, charged with Aleksandr Novoselov’s abduction and torture, committed in 2004.

Roman Markeyev (in 2004 – senior investigative officer of Interdistrict Police Department on Serial and Contract Killings under the Chief Directorate of the Interior of the Nizhny Novgorod region) and Evgeny Voronin (in 2004 – head of this department), are charged with especially grave crimes under items “a, v, g” of Part 2 Article 126 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (“abduction by a group of persons”) and items “a, b” of part 3 Article 286 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (“abuse of office with the use of violence, weapons or special equipment”).

Oleg Sorokin, a businessman from Nizhny Novgorod, is also involved in this case – he is charged of implication in this crime.

In May 2005 Aleksandr Novoselov applied to the Committee Against Torture seeking legal assistance. According to the applicant, at about 10 a.m. on 27 April 2004, on one of central squares of the city, he was stopped by several men he was not acquainted with. The men dragged him into a car, beat him up and drove to a forest in Balakhninsky district of Nizhny Novgorod region. Shortly after, a white all-road car arrived there, and several men stepped out of it. One of them, as Mr Novoselov insists, looked very much like businessman Sorokin. The men were threatening Aleksandr with a gun and beating him, accusing him of an attempt to murder the businessman. Then a man in camouflage rammed a gun in the applicant’s mouth, making his lower lip bleed. Aleksandr once again denied any involvement in the attempt on the businessman's life, and the men put a plastic bag over his head, cutting off the air supply. The man looking like Oleg Sorokin said: «Take an axe, let's cut his leg off». Seeing an axe in one of the men's hands, Aleksandr felt fear for his life and decided to sign the statements wanted from him. The men also made a video record of him giving confession statements.

The battery resulted in serious bodily injuries. Aleksandr was later diagnosed with contusion of the right kidney, a brain contusion, bruising of the soft tissue of the face and limbs, and others.

Mr Novoselov firstly filed complaint with the Prosecutor's Office. The investigative body refused to initiate criminal proceedings against the police officers, assertedly basing this decision on the results of a pre-investigation inquiry. The reasoning was the following: Aleksandr Novoselov appeared to have been involved in an operative drill performed by the Directorate of the Interior for Nizhny Novgorod region servicemen, and one of them «was disguised as O.V. Sorokin».

Having failed to attain justice on the national level, on 24 December 2005 lawyers of the Committee Against Torture lodged the relevant application with the European Court of Human Rights on behalf of Aleksandr Novoselov.

On 28 November 2013 the ECHR delivered a ruling with regard to it. The Strasbourg judges established that Novoselov was tortured by the representatives of the state, and the investigation of this fact by the Prosecutor’s Office was “shallow” and “formalistic”. At that time, the European Court obliged Russia to pay 27 500 euro to Novoselov.

With regard to the passed ruling of the ECHR, on 12 November 2014 the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation decided to resume the proceedings on Novoselov’s complaint due to new circumstances, however, the criminal case was initiated only on 2 August 2017.

According to the version of the investigative authorities, in 2004, Evgeny Voronin, willing to obtain information on persons involved in Oleg Sorokin assassination attempt, committed in 2004, developed a plan of psychological pressure on the person who might have had this information. During implementation of this plan, the police officers, including Evgeny Markeyev, tracked down Aleksandr Novoselov, forced him in Sorokin’s car and brought to the forest where Sorokin applied violence against him as well as threatened him with applying more violence. Having obtained the required information, they released the abducted.

On 28 February 2019, State Prosecutor Elena Shkarednaya requested real jail time for the defendants. For businessman Oleg Sorokin (taking into account the episode with taking a bribe) – twelve years of prison term, for ex-police officers Evgeny Voronin and Roman Markeyev – eight and seven years, accordingly.

Today, judge of the Nizhny Novgorod District Court Ekaterina Kislidenko passed the verdict.

Evgeny Voronin is declared guilty of crimes under parts 3 Article 33, items “а, v, g” of item 2 Article 126, item “а, b” item. 3 of Article 286 of Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (“Arranging abduction of a person by a group of persons by previous concert with the use of violence, dangerous to health, or threatening to apply such a violence, with the use of weapons or objects used as weapons, as well as abuse of office using violence or threats of violence, with the use of weapons or special equipment”). Voronin was convicted to five and a half years of prison term with serving the sentence in the maximum security penal colony.

Roman Markeyev declared guilty of committing crimes under items “а, v, g” part 2 Article 126 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation and items “a, b” Part 3 of 286 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (“Arranging abduction of a person by a group of persons by previous concert with the use of violence, dangerous to health, or threatening to apply such a violence, with the use of weapons or objects used as weapons, as well as abuse of office using violence or threats of violence, with the use of weapons or special equipment”). Markeyev was convicted to five years of prison term with serving the sentence in the maximum security penal colony.

Oleg Sorokin declared guilty in committing crimes under items “а, v, g” Part 2 of Article 126, item 5 of Article 33, items “а, b” part 3 of Article 286 (“Arranging abduction of a person by a group of persons by previous concert with the use of violence, dangerous to health, or threatening to apply such a violence, with the use of weapons or objects used as weapons, as well as abuse of office using violence or threats of violence, with the use of weapons or special equipment”). Apart from that, Sorokin was declared guilty of committing a crime under part 6 Article 290 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (“acceptance of a bribe in especially big amount”). Sorokin was convicted to ten years’ prison term with serving the sentence in maximum security penal colony and a fine of 468 800 000 rubles.

In addition, the court passed a ruling to provide compensation to Aleksandr Novoselov for the moral damage inflicted by criminal actions of the convicts. Evgeny Voronin is obliged to pay six hundred thousand rubles as compensation to the victim, Roman Markeyev – five hundred thousand rubles, Oleg Sorokin – one million rubles.

On 12 April 2019, the panel of judges of the Nizhny Novgorod Regional Court upheld this verdict. The verdict came into legal force.