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How Do Petersburgers Prove That Drugs Were Planted On Them? - Alternative View
How Do Petersburgers Prove That Drugs Were Planted On Them? - Alternative View

Video: How Do Petersburgers Prove That Drugs Were Planted On Them? - Alternative View

Video: How Do Petersburgers Prove That Drugs Were Planted On Them? - Alternative View
Video: Наркотики и борьба с ними в современной России / Редакция 2023, April

After the arrest of Meduza journalist Ivan Golunov, the problems of Russian legislation in the field of drug crimes are being discussed again.

Annually, about 90 thousand people are convicted of drug offenses; 0.05% of cases are acquitted. At the same time, over the past five years, the media wrote about only 100 police officers who were prosecuted on suspicion of planting drugs.

A young man with schizophrenia was found to have drugs, and then he died in a pre-trial detention center. Evgeny Romanov case

In July 2015, police officers from the Ministry of Internal Affairs for the Kalininsky District of St. Petersburg - Rakhimov, Nikitin and Shchadilov - patrolled Grazhdansky Prospekt. It follows from the materials of the case that they noticed 25-year-old Yevgeny Romanov at the house 83. The police claimed that the young man was in an "inadequate" condition.

Police testimonies about the reasons for Romanov's detention differ. One said that Eugene "fell and got up", "waved his arms, tried to resist." The second was that a passerby had complained about the young man. The third - that Eugene's movements were "slowed down", he stood in a "strange position", but "did not violate public peace."

Eugene was diagnosed with schizophrenia at the age of 20. Romanov's relatives say that shortly before the arrest, the symptoms of the disease worsened. The psychiatrist observing the young man said that the "strange" posture was most likely due to catatonic stupor, one of the consequences of treating schizophrenia with potent drugs. In this state, a person cannot move, he has problems with speech and muscle tone increases.

Evgeny lived with his mother in Sosnovy Bor. The case file says that the local police more than once detained him and took him to the hospital. And on Grazhdansky Prospect, the police officers, deciding that Yevgeny was drunk, took him to the police station. According to them, they “patted” his pockets - and found nothing illegal in them.

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Already in the 3rd department, the police found a plastic bag with an unknown substance in the back pocket of Evgeny's trousers. Further examination found that it contained 0.51 grams of spice. Romanov was accused of possession of large amounts of drugs (part 2 of Article 228 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation, from three to ten years in prison).

The medical examination did not find traces of alcohol or drugs in Romanov's body. Romanov did not admit his guilt, but during interrogation he stated that a prohibited substance had been planted on him. According to the case file, he spent about an hour and a half alone with the police at the police station. And the attesting witness admitted that he left the room for a while.

A day after the arrest, Romanov was arrested. His mother, Irina Sultanova, said that she had brought documents to the court session confirming her son's illness and explained to investigator Vladislav Pavlenko that Yevgeny could not be sent to a pre-trial detention center because of schizophrenia. According to her, the policeman asked her to wait for an invitation to the meeting to provide documents, but this never happened.

On the same day, July 11, the Kalininsky District Court sent Romanov to the Kresty SIZO. The court never received confirmation that the young man could not be held in custody for health reasons. Four months later, the young man died in a surveillance cell.

The death of Eugene is associated with the doctors' mistake: after his arrest, they allegedly forcibly treated Romanov for psychotic "acute polymorphic disorder" without the necessary examinations. From the data of the journal of the medical unit, it follows that in the first days after the arrest, Romanov was in a clear consciousness, a month later - "agitated, aggressive", after three, in November, - "sat looking at one point", on December 3 - "heard voices" … On December 4, Eugene fell into a coma, and the next day he died.

After Yevgeny's death, his mother tried to obtain an acquittal for her son: Irina Sultanova also claimed that the drugs had been planted. Lawyers for Zona Prava, who represented the interests of the family in court, assume that this happened in an official car.

The defense pointed to the discrepancies in the testimonies of the police officers who had arrested Yevgeny and to the opinion of the attending physician Romanov that people with severe schizophrenia do not use drugs, as they do not feel satisfaction from them. The attesting witnesses during the interrogations said that, without arguing, they signed the text of the testimony prepared by the police officer.

The Kalininsky District Court did not listen to the arguments of the defense and posthumously found Romanov guilty of drug possession. The case was dropped due to his death.

Irina Sultanova was paid moral compensation due to the mistake of the doctors of the pre-trial detention center - 200 thousand rubles. She asked for 3 million rubles.

“My son turned out to be a consumable in the hands of the authorities, for which the main thing is statistics on such cases,” the woman said.

The human rights center "Zona Prava" notes that two police officers who participated in the arrest and search of Yevgeny Romanov were detained on suspicion of fraud using their official position. How their case ended is unknown.

How many Russians are tried on drug charges and how many are acquitted

The article, which provides for punishment for drug trafficking, is the most used in Russia, follows from the report of experts from the University of Lausanne. Vladimir Putin, during his "direct line" in 2019, said that about 26% of Russian prisoners were convicted on drug charges. According to official statistics, 90-100 thousand people are convicted of drug offenses every year.

For drug crimes in Russia, articles 228 to 234.1 of the Criminal Code are provided. They are punished for the acquisition, storage, sale, cultivation or manufacture of drugs, the illegal issuance of prescriptions for drugs, the organization of dens or inducement to use. Not only pure drugs fall under the ban, but also mixtures (and the concentration practically does not matter) included in the list of prohibited substances.

In Russia, criminal liability arises if the weight of the drug exceeds that established by the government. Such crimes are punishable by imprisonment from three years (the minimum penalty for possession of a "significant" size) up to 15 years (the maximum penalty for possession of a "particularly large" size).

In 2018, only 29 people out of 90,876 convicted under drug articles of the Criminal Code were acquitted. For another 18 defendants, the cases were dropped due to the absence of an event or corpus delicti. This is about 0.05% of the total number of final court decisions, said Alexei Knorre, an employee of the Institute for Law Enforcement Problems. The fact of the toss was only proved in a few cases.

From the beginning of 2013 to the spring of 2018, the Russian media reported about 500 law enforcement officers suspected of various drug fraud. This data was collected by the Institute for Law Enforcement Issues at the European University. At the same time, only in 100 of these cases the police were accused of planting drugs and opened criminal cases against them.

Knorre says that in reality there may be more cases of drug planting, since not all of them are reported in the media. There are no official statistics - drug planting is not included in a separate article and is often regarded as abuse of office. Sometimes police officers are also accused of drug possession.

They planted drugs on the man and demanded a bribe, but the policeman remained free. Dmitry Kulichik's case

In March 2014, 28-year-old engineer Dmitry Kulichik met the detective of the criminal investigation department of the 19th police department Amir Datsiev at his front door on Engels Avenue. They knew each other - Kulichik was registered due to drug use. During interrogation, Dmitry recalled that the policeman twisted his arm, forced him to bend over and pick up a bundle from the asphalt. They found 2.79 grams of heroin in it.

From the materials of the case it follows that Datsiev brought Kulichik to the 19th department and there, in the presence of his colleagues, took out a package from Dmitry's pocket. The policeman demanded that the young man confess to possession of drugs. According to the detainee, Datsiev hit him on the head several times and tightly tightened the handcuffs.

Then, according to Kulichik, Datsiev himself entered into the inspection protocol Kulichik's words about the circumstances of the drug purchase. During interrogations, other police officers confirmed the falsification. According to them, one of Datsiev's colleagues called the attesting witnesses, who “often came to the department,” by phone.

Datsiev promised Dmitry to help him avoid arrest - for a bribe of 150 thousand rubles.

Kulichik spent the next two days in an isolation ward under an administrative article on drug use (Article 6.9 of the Administrative Code). At the same time, a criminal case began on the fact of illegal possession of drugs on a large scale (part 2 of Article 228 of the Criminal Code).

Although Dmitry was a suspect in a drug case, two days later he was released from the department. According to Kulichik, Datsiev then said that if there was no money, they would “find” drugs on an especially large scale. The policeman reduced the amount of the bribe to 120 thousand.

At home, Dmitry tried to hang himself, his father saved him. Doctors took Kulichik to the hospital, and then sent him to the clinic for treatment for a month.

Upon learning of Dmitry's attempt to commit suicide, Datsiev quit his job and returned to his homeland in Dagestan, Kulichik's lawyer Vitaly Cherkasov said. At the same time, Dmitry complained of extortion. Soon Datsiev was put on the wanted list and detained.

The case against the ex-policeman was brought up under five articles: illegal acquisition and possession of drugs on a large scale (Article 228 of the Criminal Code), abuse of office with the use of violence and special means (Article 286 of the Criminal Code), attempted fraud with the use of official position (Art. 30 of the Criminal Code and 159 of the Criminal Code), official forgery (Art. 292 of the Criminal Code) and negligence (Art. 293 of the Criminal Code). According to them, Datsiev could be sentenced to a term of up to 29 years.

Colleagues also testified against Datsiev. The assistant to the district police officer said that he saw the detective planting heroin on Kulichik. The trainee policeman said that Datsiev forced him to fill out a report on the detention of Kulichik under dictation. He also said that the testimony of the attesting witnesses was also recorded from the words of Datsiev. After that, the former policeman confessed to extortion and drug planting.

When the investigation was completed, the St. Petersburg prosecutor's office requested documents from the IC for verification. Three months later, when they were returned to the investigators, according to Kulichik's defender, articles on the most serious crimes disappeared from the case, and the maximum sentence under the remaining articles was 5 years in prison.

Kulichik's defense considered that the supervisory authorities put pressure on the investigator. Dmitry's relatives filed appeals demanding the return of the accusatory articles, and the Vyborgsky District Court even satisfied them. But later the prosecutor's office appealed this.

Six months after Datsiev's arrest, he was found guilty of attempted fraud and negligence and was sentenced to one year and three months probation. Taking into account the time spent in the pre-trial detention center, the former policeman was released in the courtroom.

Kulichik's lawyer Vitaly Cherkasov says that the victim's family, which had been trying to prove Datsiev's guilt for more than a year, eventually agreed to accept the apology and moral compensation.

How drugs are seized in Russia and what explains the plantings

Kulichik was planted with 2.79 grams of heroin, which is 0.29 grams more than the threshold required to initiate a case on drug possession on a large scale. According to the Institute for Law Enforcement Issues, heroin is one of the three most seized substances by the police - along with marijuana and hashish.

The Institute for Law Enforcement Problems conducted a study of 535,000 cases in 2013–2014 (law enforcement agencies do not provide more recent statistics) and noted that often the amount of drugs detained in Russia is seized from the detainees, which is necessary to initiate a criminal case. The experts concluded that this is indirect evidence of the existence of manipulations by law enforcement agencies.

Lawyers who conduct cases under drug articles associate the planting cases with the "cane system" in law enforcement agencies. It appeared in 2001, when the leadership of the Ministry of Internal Affairs issued an order to change the principle of evaluating the performance of employees. The main indicator was the number of crimes not registered, but disclosed and “revealed”. In addition, the numbers should rise.

The Institute for Law Enforcement Problems agrees with the interviewed lawyers. Researchers believe that the cane system pushes police officers to provocations: for example, a "test purchase", when police officers or their friends buy drugs themselves, and later detain the seller.

The leadership of the Ministry of Internal Affairs several times announced the abolition of the "cane system", making changes in the criteria for assessing the work of police officers. But, as the researchers reported, key provisions in it remain, despite the new decrees.

The Petersburg resident was tortured to make him confess to the possession of the planted drugs. Alexey Shepelin's case

In April 2017, 27-year-old Aleksey Shepelin, an inspector of Lenta's security department, was driving from work with his friend Aleksey Shustov in his car. Then an acquaintance called Shepelin and asked to give him a lift to his grandmother. At the meeting place, the car was surrounded by plainclothes police.

As Shepelin recalled during interrogation, the operative hit him in the face and broke his glasses, the fragments got into the eye. Then, according to the man, he was thrown to the ground, kicked, and Shustov was beaten, including with his forehead on the hood, and strangled.

The men were put in different cars and taken away without explaining where. The fact that they were detained by the police, both found out only when they asked: "Who are you?" Shepelin and Shustov were taken to the 70th police department. It turned out that an acquaintance of Shepelin said that he was "aware of the people who are selling drugs." He himself was detained the day before - on suspicion of possession of prohibited substances.

In the department, the men were reportedly beaten again. Mediazona, referring to the indictment, wrote that Shepelin was beaten and also given an electric shock to his right leg. The detainee's lawyer confirmed that Shepelin had injuries. According to him, Shepelin "did not look like a man, his face was in meat."

As the detainee himself stated during the interrogation, he was told unfamiliar names and demanded to tell about some drug dealers. When the man refused, the policeman allegedly put two pieces of hashish in his jacket with the words "I can throw more." Shepelin was also forced to confess that he and Shustov were drug dealers.

To get confessions, the police, Shepelin recalled, pressed on his injured eye and inserted a lit cigarette into his nostril. Shepelin said he was beaten until he signed a confession. Then a criminal case was opened against him on drug possession.

Shepelin was taken from the department by ambulance. He was diagnosed with a concussion, numerous bruises and contusions, damage to the cornea of the eye, and a burn to the nose. He spent a month in the hospital. And after being discharged he complained about the police to the Investigative Committee.

Six operatives of Section 70 - Artyom Morozov, Sergei Kotenko, Kirill Borodich, Alexander Ipatov, Mikhail Antonenko and Andrey Barashkov - were detained in September 2017, five months after Shepelin was beaten. They were also accused of attacking the bookmaker's office.

The investigation lasted until July 2018. Only shortly before his graduation, Shepelin was fully acquitted in the drug possession case, his lawyer said.

At first, the operatives were accused of abuse and abuse of office, official forgery, illegal possession of weapons and drugs, and robbery. Then the prosecutor's office, which requested the case for verification, according to Shepelin's lawyer, dropped some of the charges.

The deputy head of the 70th department, Morozov, and the operative Barashkov, received four years in prison for abuse of office. Operative Ipatov - three years and two months in a penal colony for stealing a video recorder from a bookmaker's office - he was released in the courtroom in connection with serving a term in a pre-trial detention center. Police officer Kotenko received a 3.5 year suspended sentence for falsifying an administrative protocol. Operatives Antonenko and Borodich were completely acquitted - due to lack of evidence of guilt and lack of corpus delicti.

How anti-drug legislation can change

The human rights association "Team 29" believes that for the sake of reporting or blackmail, they can plant illegal substances on anyone. Risk groups include homeless people, drug users suspected of other crimes with little evidence, and activists, human rights defenders and politicians.

According to lawyer Vladimir Shubutinsky, who often conducts cases under Article 228, police officers can carry prohibited substances and, when searched, put them in the victim's pockets. According to Shubutinsky, operatives sometimes make "bookmarks" themselves and ask people "on the hook" - those on whom there is incriminating information - to provoke victims "to see what lies there."

In order to avoid falsifications, during the examination of the detainee, the police must invite disinterested attesting witnesses. However, the interviewed lawyers say that in some cases the attesting witnesses do not pay attention to violations or without looking at them sign the protocols prepared by the operatives. Sociologist Aleksey Knorre says that the attesting witnesses may be former police officers or acquaintances of employees.

Active discussion of the changes in article 228 resumed after the case of Meduza correspondent Ivan Golunov. In June 2019, the journalist was detained, allegedly having found drugs on him. Against the background of a large-scale public campaign in defense of Golunov, the case was dropped due to the lack of corpus delicti. Two generals were dismissed from their posts - Andrei Puchkov and Yuri Devyatkin.

On the "direct line", Russian President Vladimir Putin, when asked about amendments to the laws on the possession of drugs, said that there could be "no liberalization" under Article 228. At the same time, he noted that it is necessary "to establish control over the activities of law enforcement agencies so that there are no offenses on their part, so that for the sake of reporting and jackdaws, people are not imprisoned."

However, in the media, citing sources in parliament, information appeared that by the end of the spring session, a bill on mitigating punishment under Article 228 could be submitted to the State Duma.

At the same time, the mitigation of punishment under Part 2 of Article 228 (on the possession of drugs on a large scale) has been discussed since November 2018 - with the participation of employees of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the FSB and the Prosecutor General's Office, representatives of the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Health, as well as human rights activists and members of public organizations. The bill was developed by an expert council under the ombudsman for human rights Tatyana Moskalkova. The deputy head of the Ministry of Internal Affairs Mikhail Vanichkin already then agreed to the need to soften part 2 of Article 228.

Human rights activist Arseniy Levinson, a member of the working group on improving anti-drug legislation, said that the document on mitigating part 2 of Article 228 is aimed both at combating fraud and updating laws. According to him, now the courts on this part often do not sentence to terms of more than five years in prison (maximum - ten years).

The final decision on submitting the bill to the State Duma was planned to be made on June 20. However, this was never officially reported.

Author: Evgeny Antonov

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