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Kazan court to hear police violence case on merits

July 23, 2013, 9:47 UTC+3

The defendants were charged of exceeding authority and inflicting grave harm to health and manslaughter

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KAZAN, July 23 (Itar-Tass) - The Volga district court of Kazan on Tuesday is to begin the merits review of the criminal case against former personnel of the Dalny police station. The hearing will be held behind closed doors, the court's spokeswoman Lilya Khaibullina told Itar-Tass. Initially the hearing was scheduled for July 13, but it had to be postponed because of the absence of the injured parties and their lawyer.

Earlier, director of the Kazan rights center Igor Sholokhov, who represents the interests of the injured parties, lodged an appeal with Tatarstan's Supreme Court. He requested an open trial, pointing out that the prosecutor had supported it, too. "The court's decision violates the injured parties' rights to state and judicial protection of their rights and freedoms," rights activists said.

When explaining his decision, Judge Alexei Chernyshyov said "an open hearing might divulge the information humiliating the injured parties and shock the public."

The defendants are eight former personnel of the Dalny police station. They were charged under Article 286 of Russia's penal code /exceeding authority/ and Article 111, Part 4 /inflicting grave harm to health and manslaughter/. They are deputy police station chief Almaz Vasilov, 25, criminal investigation department chief Ainur Rakhmatullin, 31, criminal police chief Fail Sabirzyanov, 26, and detectives Ramil Akhmetzyanov, 25, Ilnar Ibatullin, 24, Amir Sharafullin, 29, Alexander Fadeyev, 28, and Denis Vasilyev, 23.

On March 9, 2012, Sergei Nazarov, 52, was brought to the Dalny police station for petty hooliganism. Police claimed the detainee was in a state of alcoholic intoxication and said they had called an ambulance after Nazarov complained of stomach ache. The next day, Nazarov complained about stomach ache again and this time, he was rushed to hospital. He was diagnosed with rectum rupture and died after surgery. Nazarov's relatives said he had not been drunk at the moment of detention and that just before surgery Nazarov told them that police had tortured him with a champagne bottle.

Investigative Committee chief Alexander Bastrykin sent a group of experienced personnel from the SK central office and the investigation department of the Republic of Tatarstan to look into Nazarov's death.

After the high-profile police violence incident, the Dalny police station was dissolved and all 87 personnel relieved of their duties. Tatarstan Interior Minister Asgat Safarov was fired.

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