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Suspect in “Bolotnaya Square” investigation Lutskevich appeals to European Court

11 January 2013

Source: (info
Agora Human Rights Association reported on 11 January that its client, Denis Lutskevich, charged in connection with alleged rioting, has lodged an application with the European Court of Human Rights regarding his unlawful detention during the investigation into the May 6 events at Bolotnaya Square.

In his application Lutskevich stresses that the state violated his fight to liberty and security of person (sections 1, 3, and 4 of Article 5 of the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms). The application to the Strasbourg Court concerns the detention of Lutskevich without good grounds to suspect him of having committee a crime or enough reason to suppose that he might go into hiding, the violation of his right to a fair trial in reasonable time, and to timely consideration by a court of the lawfulness of his detention.

Twenty-year-old Denis Lutskevich asserts in his application to the European Court that on 6 May 2012 he took part in a lawful and peaceful march, he did not violate the law, did not use violence, and did not incite others to do so. He says that at the moment when he arrived at the Bolotnaya Embankment together with his girlfriend, at least three police officers in dark camouflage uniforms threw themselves on him. One of the police officers began to beat him. From blows to the back of his head and right ear, Lutskevich fell to the ground, but the police officers, he asserts, continued to beat him. Thereafter, the young man was taken to the Ostankino police station, from where an ambulance took him to the Skifosofsky First Aid Centre. Doctors there diagnosed bruising of the back of the head, the ear, and numerous injuries to his back, and injuries to the knees. On 24 October 2012 Denis Lutskevich lodged a complaint with the Investigative Committee concerning the use of torture against him during his arrest. However, the Investigative Committee has not yet responded to his complaint.

Denis Lutskevich is certain that the decision of the Russian courts to hold him in pre-trial detention, and prolonging this detention, are without grounds since the suspicions that he was involved in alleged rioting have not been confirmed by reliable evidence, and the court decisions do not indicate what specific evidence there is to show that he was a participant in the commission of a crime, and the materials relevant to the administrative offence of failing to obey the lawful demands of a police officer at the May 6 demonstration were fabricated.

In his application to the European Court Lutskevich says that the suspicions that he used violence against police officers were not confirmed by reliable evidence. He points out that the evidence of police officer Aleksei Troerin, the alleged victim, given by him on 22 May and 9 June 2012 to the effect that it was Lutskevich who pulled off his helmet and struck him, cannot be trusted since in an interview with the journalist Svetlana Reiter, written in September 2012 for the journal Esquire, the officer said that he did not remember who struck him. In October 2012 Denis Lutskevich lodged a complaint with the Investigative Committee, requesting that a criminal case be opened against Troerin for knowingly giving false evidence. However, there has also been no reaction to this complaint to date.

On 6 May 2012 charges relating to the administrative offence of failing to obey the lawful demands of a police officer (Article 19.3 of the Administrative Code of the Russian Federation) were brought against Lutskevich. However, a magistrate at Moscow District No. 396 returned the charges to the police "on the grounds of the fabrication of an administrative detention" of Lutskevich. Later, these charges were dropped because of the expiry of the time limit set for the prosecution of an administrative offence.

Nonetheless, on 9 June 2012 Lutskevich was detained, and the Basmanny district court in Moscow ruled that Lutskevich be held on remand until 9 August. On 11 July Moscow City Court on a cassationary appeal upheld the ruling of the lower court.

On 18 June the Investigative Committee charged Lutskevich with taking part in rioting (Article 212, Section 2, of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation) and the use of force against a representative of the authorities without endangering life or health (Article 318, Section 1, of the Criminal Code).

On 7 August Moscow’s Basmanny district court extended the pre-trial detention of Lutskevich until 6 November 2012 on the grounds that the circumstances taken into account when Lutskevich was first held on remand had not changed. On 5 September Moscow City Court dismissed the appeal on cassation lodged on 9 August against the decision of the Basmanny district court.

On 2 November 2012 Basmanny district court extended the pre-trial detention of Lutskevich until 6 March 2013. The appeal in cassation lodged by Lutskevich’s lawyer Dmitry Dinze on 5 November was dismissed by Moscow City Court on 3 December 2012.

It will be recalled that earlier applications to the European Court of Human Rights were submitted by other suspects in the “Bolotnaya Square” investigation: Artem Savelov, Andrei Barabanov, Vladimir Akimenkov and Yaroslav Belousov.