- Press Release No.102/1103
Today, September 22, the Orenburg Garrison Court finished the criminal trial for the death of Ivan Krasheninnikov in the army. The trial has been lasting from August 2007; the last court sessions were held on August 12, 2008 and September 18, 2008 (see press releases of the Mother's Right Foundation No. 83/1084 of 08/12/08 and No. 101/1102 of 09/18/08).
Ivan Krasheninnikov was drafted into the army on November 27, 2005. He served in military unit 35652, Totsky Division. On December 11, 2006, he was found dead, hanging by a belt in the basement of the barrack block. Vanya's parents, Alexey Ivanovich and Galina Vasilievna Krasheninnikov, did not believe the story about his ‘suicide'. When they opened the coffin, they were horrified to see injuries on their son's body. For many months the prosecutors of the Totsky Garrison investigated the case. As a result, two sergeants of military unit 35652, Krull and Aflistov, are in the dock. They were charged with hazing Ivan Krasheninnikov that led to grave consequences. At the last court session, the parties announced their positions in the debate.
Today the accused made his final speech to the court. Konstantine Aflistov expressed his condolences to the victim's parents and apologized for the fact that he had ‘failed to consider carefully the needs of Krasheninnikov'. He said that the reasons for what had happened to Ivan were still unclear to him, but in his opinion, Ivan could not have committed suicide. The accused, Konstantin Krull, also expressed his condolences to the parents of the victim and said that he was not guilty of what he was charged with.
Today, Judge Ali Usmanovich Usmanov announced the verdict: Krull and Aflistov were sentenced below a statutory minimum (1.6- and 1-year suspended sentence with probation of 2 years to each) for hazing Ivan Krasheninnikov.
The court refused to satisfy the plaintiffs' civil action against the military unit, and thus freed the unit of responsibility for the soldier's death.
Also, the court refused to pass a special statement on Merkushev, the investigator who failed to properly investigate the death of Ivan Krasheninnikov.
The verdict of the court is outrageous.
In fact, the court allowed prosecutors to investigate criminal cases in the same way as it had been done in the case of the death of Ivan Krasheninnikov. Thus, they are allowed to lose, throw away and destroy material evidences. They are allowed to work improperly and then the court will try a criminal case "within the charges" no matter how deficient an investigation can be. The verdict allowed the authorities to deprive parents of the opportunity to know the truth about their son's death, and bear no responsibility for it ...
Of course, the Mother's Right Foundation will appeal the verdict. And if Judge Usmanov considered that he, although he could, was not obliged to take into account the arguments of the victims, and if the investigator, although he could, was not obliged to collect and preserve all evidences in the case, as well as to conduct an investigation experiment and to find out who had moved the body of Ivan Krasheninnikov from the basement to the barrack, etc., then more likely it will be the Russian Federation as a state that will blush for the judge and the investigator at the European Court of Human Rights.