2012/07/06 "Witnesses: Real and False"
  • Press Release No. 56/1490
  • 06/07/2012

On July 6, the 35th Garrison Court continued the trial for the death of Sergei Khudoroshko (b. 1992) from the Novosibirsk Region who died in M.U. 09762 on April 28, 2011. A certain Mr. Chamkurov, a serviceman of the same unit, was charged with violent extortion and violation of military regulations resulting in serious consequences. The investigation found out that at least two times - four and two months before the tragedy - the unit doctor's assistant Konakova had registered Khudoroshko's bodily injuries: hematomas in the arm-pits and on the chest; bruises on the cheekbones.

 (According to Elena Konakova's testimony at the hearing of May 29, the commanding officers did not respond to her reports. She had to make two copies of each report because she suspected that her reports would be thrown into a waste paper basket.) Then it was found out that senior serviceman Chamkurov had been extorting 5000 rubles from Khudoroshko and threatened him with violence. Sergei's mother sent him 1000 rubles that were received by Chamkurov. (On June 4, the court interrogated an employee of the post office, Ms. Anchukova, and she confirmed the fact.) The interests of the parents of the deceased were represented by Zarema Yusupova, a lawyer of the Mother's Right Foundation.

On July 6, the court interrogated (at the request of Ms. Poikina, the representative of the unit) for the second time Senior Lieutenant Sergei Koval, the leader of the sub-unit where Chamkurov and Khudoroshko served.

He was asked about how his servicemen had explained their bruises and scratches. According to Koval, sailors would usually say that they had hit themselves against banisters or had fallen down... When Judge Zachesov asked the witness about whether he doubted the credibility of such explanations, the latter just threw up his hands:

‘Yes, sometimes I doubted them but I could not afford to be pushing. I just talked to them and asked them to report about cases of hazing...'

Koval agreed with the reference given to Chamkurov and included in the case materials (‘... He does not attend to his duties... He is undisciplined and negligent... He is impudent and tactless. He does not respond to criticism. He is in good physical shape...'):

‘I agree with the reference to Chamkurov. I reproved him but must have forgotten to register the case in his service profile...'

Then, the court listened to the speech of Vitaly Lyamza who was summoned to court at the request of the attorney of the accused, Feschenko. It's not clear why Feschenko wanted to have the witness in court because the latter knew nothing. He said that he did not remember the persons involved in the case and knew nothing concerning the situation in the unit...

After a break, the court organized a video conference with Vyacheslav Dementiev. The witness confirmed that at the day of the death of Sergei Khudoroshko, he saw him talking to Chamkurov.

‘When I was passing by, I heard them talking about tea,' said Dementiev.

Earlier, another witnesses told that Chamkurov had ordered Khudoroshko to get some tea for him. It means that Chamkurov put himself above Khudoroshko: he was a ‘bully' and Khudoroshko was a ‘crock'.

When asked by the judge, Dementiev confessed about hazing: sometimes they made junior servicemen ‘dry a spider', i.e. seize the web of an upper bed and keep hanging.

‘When I was a junior serviceman, I had to ‘dry a spider' and do press-ups. When younger guys arrived, such things also happened'.

During the video conference, the court interrogated Dmitry Shadrin. He denied the testimony of Shevchuk, a retired colonel and former chief of the ammunition deport of M.U. 62929, who had lied under oath. According to Shevchuk, Shadrin told him that it was Subbotin, not Chamkurov, who was guilty in the death of Khudoroshko. (By the way, Shadrin's testimony does not mention the fact.)  

‘I don't remember any Shevchuk,' said the witness. ‘I've said nothing of the kind. I didn't say that Subbotin had been hazing Khudoroshko!'

The lawyer of the Mother's Right Foundation, Zarema Yusupova, insisted on the confrontation of Shevchuk and Shadrin.

Next hearing is scheduled for July 10, 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; July 4, 2012.

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