The city court of Nizhnekamsk, having reconsidered the case of torture in the district Ministry of Internal Affairs, significantly reduced the punishment for three former operatives – on Wednesday they were released from the courtroom. The ex-police officers were previously accused of driving a local resident Ilnaz Pirkin to suicide in 2017, to whom the “elephant” torture was used. However, now the court qualified their actions only as abuse of power. Two more former police officers of the Ministry of Internal Affairs may leave in the coming months, as they have served a significant part of their sentences.
On Wednesday, the city court of Nizhnekamsk issued a new sentence to five former police officers in the case of torture at the Ministry of Internal Affairs for the Nizhnekamsk region of Tatarstan. As lawyer Timur Miftakhutdinov told Kommersant, all five were found guilty under Art. 286 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (abuse of official powers, including with the use of violence, special means, with the infliction of grave consequences). However, the court stopped the prosecution of the three operatives under Art. 110 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (incitement to suicide by a group of persons by prior agreement).
As a result, according to the Travmpunkt human rights project, Rinat Akhmetshin, the former head of the department for combating organized crime of the threat department, received seven years, and detective Mikhail Logachev received six years in a penal colony. “Taking into account the partial serving of their sentences (in a pre-trial detention center and a colony. -“ Kommersant ”), they have to spend a few months behind bars,” human rights activists noted. And three more former operatives – Igor Filinov, Nail Mindubaev and Gadel Rakhimov, who were acquitted of incitement to suicide, were released from custody. According to the court decision, they have already served their sentence – two, two and four years in prison.
A criminal case against the policemen of Nizhnekamsk was initiated in 2017 after the suicide of a local resident, 22-year-old Ilnaz Pirkin. Human rights activists reported that in October of that year he was suspected of stealing a car radio. In the building of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, operatives Gadel Rakhimov, Igor Filinov and Nail Mindubaev tried to force him to confess to another 47 thefts, using violence. On October 19, Ilnaz Pirkin committed suicide.
Before his death, the young man left a video message to his family, in which he did not deny the fact of the theft of one car radio, but stated that he had been tortured by the police.
In particular, he said that he was taken out of the forest, where he was “severely beaten”, after which he was taken to the department and there they used the “elephant” torture – they put a gas mask on his head and cut off the air. “I appeal to the higher authorities, which are above these people who work in the Ministry of Internal Affairs. It seems that the Constitution says that even if you are a suspect and if you are guilty in nature, no pressure should be exerted on you, ”he said to the camera.
The Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation concluded that Mr. Pirkin’s suicide was driven by “threats to harm the guy’s health, ill-treatment in the form of illegal imprisonment on the premises of the police department, and systematic humiliation of human dignity.” According to investigators, the crime was committed “in order to improve statistical indicators.”
Subsequently, two more people were recognized as victims – Vladimir Timofeev and Nikolai Udiryakov, owners of the audio system, the theft of which was suspected by the deceased. As the investigation found out, police officers in one of the offices of the Ministry of Internal Affairs used “physical violence” against them, trying to get a confession that they threatened Ilnaz Pirkin. Complaints began to come in against the police and from other residents of Nizhnekamsk. Thus, Ildar Kamaleev told human rights activists that in November 2016, at the Ministry of Internal Affairs, they put a black plastic bag on his head so that he “could not breathe, and the floor cloth was used as a gag.” As a result, he wrote a confession for a crime he did not commit.
An internal audit was conducted at the Ministry of Internal Affairs for the Nizhnekamsk region, as a result of which the head of the department, Robert Khusnutdinov, lost his post. More than a dozen employees were also fired or subjected to other disciplinary actions.
The investigation into the case was completed at the end of 2018. And in May 2020, the city court of Nizhnekamsk issued the first verdict. Rinat Akhmetshin was sentenced to nine years in a penal colony. Former detectives received terms in a strict regime colony: Gadel Rakhimov – 11 years, Mikhail Logachev – 8 years, Igor Filinov – 7 years and 3 months, Nail Mindubaev – 6 years and 3 months.
In February 2021, the Supreme Court of Tatarstan decided to reduce the terms of Mikhail Logachev and Rinat Akhmetshin to six and seven years in prison, respectively. The Supreme Court of the Republic considered that there was no prior conspiracy in their actions. At the same time, the punishment for Nail Mindubaev, Igor Filinov and Gadel Rakhimov remained unchanged. The Tatarstan court found them guilty of incitement to suicide. But the sixth cassation court in Samara in July 2021 completely overturned the verdict and sent the case for a new trial to Nizhnekamsk.
As a result, the city court significantly reduced the terms of three operatives, considering that they were not involved in the suicide of Ilnaz Pirkin. The full text of the City Court’s decision has not yet been published.
Lawyer Timur Miftakhutdinov told Kommersant that we are now “deciding with the victims on the issue of appealing” the verdict.
It should be noted that Ilnar Garipov, a former trainee for the position of an operative in the district police department, also appeared in the criminal case on torture. However, in 2017, he fled from the investigation and was put on the federal wanted list. In the fall of 2022, Ilnar Garipov was detained. Now his case is being considered in the court of Nizhnekamsk. He is charged with exceeding official powers with the use of violence, special means, as well as with causing grave consequences (part 3 of article 286 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation). We are talking about bullying of the detainee Ildar Kamaleev.