- Press Release No. 55/1489
On July 4, a lawyer of the Mother's Right Foundation, Zarema Yusupova, continued her work in criminal trial for the death of Sergei Khudoroshko (b. 1992) from the Novosibirsk Region who died in M.U. 09762 on April 28, 2011. The case was tried in the 35th Garrison Court, Petropavlovsk-on-Kamchatka, under the chairmanship of Judge Roman Zachesov. A certain Mr. Chamkurov, serviceman of M.U. 09762, was charged under Article 163, s. 1; Article 163, Section 2, p. "c", of the RF CC (violent extortion) and Article 335, Section 3, of the RF CC (violation of military regulations resulting in serious consequences, i.e. Sergei's death).
On July 4, with the help of a video conference, the court interrogated witness Sergei Nemerov, the serviceman who, like Sergei Khudoroshko, had suffered from Chamkurov's actions. It was noticeable that he didn't enjoy remembering his military service...
The witness (like the servicemen that had been interrogated at the previous hearings) confirmed the existence of hazing in the unit, as well as the fact that all the servicemen were divided into ‘bullies' and ‘crocks'. It was easy to distinguish ‘bullies' from other servicemen: their haircuts were not so short; they wore their jackets in a different way - with a special fold (‘crocks' had no right to wear jackets in that way), etc.
/It's surprising that Valentina Poikina, representative of M.U. 09762, who tries to convince the court that everything is fine with the educational work in the unit, never asks herself about how the unit officers failed to notice and worry about the difference in the servicemen's appearances.../
Also, Nemerov told that ‘bullies' could do nothing because ‘crocks' did their work.
Prosecutor Vladimir Nosovets asked the witness about the ‘100 day service'.
‘Each demob had a junior serviceman who served as an errand boy,' said Nemerov. ‘At the end of the service, a crock was obliged to give his master some 3000-5000 rubles. When his service came to an end, he became a ‘bully'.
Sergei told that it was Chamkurov who had been threatening new conscripts, in case of disobedience, with beating.
According to the witness, since January 2011 Chamkurov had been constantly reminding him, Nemerov, about his debt and threatened with beating. When asked by the lawyer of the Mother's Right Foundation, he said that he had taken those threats seriously.
The attorney of the accused, Feschenko, asked the witness:
‘Did you give money to Chamkurov on your own accord?'
‘I had no choice. I didn't want to give him the money but I was scared'.
‘Was the money a serious financial loss to you?'
‘The amount is large enough for those serving in the army'.
Also, the attorney of the accused was interested in why and how Sergei Nemerov had applied to the Office of the Prosecutor. So Judge Zachesov asked the witness a direct question:
‘Did someone make you write about the things that never happened?'
‘No, I wrote about the things that really happened'.
‘Did Chamkurov extort money from you?'
After that, Chamkurov said that the witness was trying to defame him. The judge had to ask the witness about whether he confirmed his testimony (yes) and whether he had experienced pressure from the investigation body (no).
At the request of Ms. Poikina, representative of the unit (the defendant in compensation suit), the court interrogated Pavel Koshman, Senior Lieutenant of M.U. 09762 and the former leader of Sergei Khudoroshko's squad.
As on June 14, when Ms. Poikina arrived at court with a wrong letter of attorney and was not able to take part in the hearing, Koshman made his speech once again: the unit officers conducted educational work; he didn't know about hazing in the subunit because nobody complained.
Ms. Poikina asked the witness:
‘You mean that nobody would have known about hazing but for the tragedy?'
‘Yes,' admitted Koshman.
Zarema Yusupova, lawyer of the Mother's Right Foundation, asked Koshman about what made the servicemen keep silent.
‘It looks like they did not trust the unit officers?' asked the foundation lawyer.
‘I've no idea,' answered Koshman.
Next hearing is scheduled for July 6, 10:00.
The previous hearings were held on May 29, 2012; May 30, 2012; June 4, 2012; June 5, 2012; June 6, 2012; June 14, 2012; June 18, 2012; June 21, 2012; June 26, 2012; June 27, 2012; June 28, 2012; July 3, 2012.