Russian Justice Initiative is representing in the European Court of Human Rights 16 applicants involved in the case of the attack on Nalchik in 2005.
Eleven of the sixteen have already sent applications to the ECHR for violations of Article 3 of the Convention (prohibiting use of torture) and Article 5 of the Convention. The new applications also cite violations of Article 6 of the Convention.
“The national courts handed down the sentence and appeal ruling, based on the applicants’ confessions, which were obtained under torture before the court proceedings began. This makes the whole criminal trial unfair. I remind you that the sentence passed on the 57 accused in this case comes to 7 volumes, and the total case materials come to more than 1,500 volumes”, said Rustem Matsev, lawyer at Russian Justice Initiative.
Legal Director at Russian Justice Initiative Olga Gnezdilova said that, “During the investigation, the accused were pressured into giving not just evidence against themselves, but also against other accused, so as to make the prosecution’s case ‘coherent’, though the accused and their representatives drew repeatedly the court’s attention to the logical contradictions in the confessions obtained under torture. The accused declared at the first instance and appeal hearing that they had been tortured, and they supported their claims with the results of medical examinations, presented photographs and video recordings showing clear traces of severe beating, and attempted unsuccessfully to get these instances of torture investigated. Many of them exhausted all available means of legal recourse and sent applications to the ECHR. Some of these complaints have already been communicated”.
The Russian court set the sentence in accordance with Articles 317 (attempt on the life of law enforcement personnel), and 105 (murder) of the Russian Federation Criminal Code. Other accused received terms of imprisonment ranging from 4 years and 10 months to 25 years.
Five of the 57 accused were sentenced to life imprisonment: Anzor Mashukov, Aslan Kuchmenov, Rasul Kudayev, and Eduard Mironov. Two of the accused died during the trial: Valery Bolov and Muradin Kardanov. Another of them, Sergei Kaziyev, died while waiting for the appeal ruling, and another, Murat Kashirgov, died after arriving in a Khabarovsk Territory prison colony to serve his sentence.