Decision on termination of criminal case following murder of young man repealed

30 November 2016

As a result of the interference of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Russia the right of a resident of Tuva to access to justice has been reinstated. The decision on termination of criminal case following the murder of her son has been repealed and an additional investigation is being conducted.

In September 2016, resident of Tuva M. appealed to the High Commissioner with a request to assist to restore the justice and punish the guilty of her only son’s death. The applicant complained on prejudicial treatment of the investigators, official red tape, and unjustified termination of criminal case.

On 17 November 2014, as a result of a conflict the applicant's son O. was killed and his friend V. was seriously injured. On the same day, the investigating authorities launched a criminal case following the murder; however, the suspect was charged only six months after the tragic events. In February 2015, a criminal case was opened following the inflicting grievous bodily harm upon V. Later, two criminal cases were taken in one proceedings.

During the preliminary investigation, the decision to terminate the criminal case following the murder of O. had been made five times in a row; and several months later, both cases were closed due to the absence of corpus delicti. The complainant could not agree with the decision, and appealed to the prosecutorial authorities and the Tuva Republic Investigation Department of the Investigative Committee of Russia. However, there were no positive results.

Having considered the case materials, the High Commissioner found a number of violations of criminal and criminal procedure legislation and appealed to the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation. In particular, the High Commissioner requested to examine the complainant’s arguments about the gross violations of choosing the measure of restraint for suspects, conducting fingerprint identification of the weapon of crime, interviewing the witnesses, victims and a suspect, as well as of registration of the procedural documents.

The response of the Deputy Chairman of the Investigative Committee of Russia reported that the Head of the Tuva Republic Investigation Department of the Investigative Committee of Russia had been instructed to conduct a “full and adequate inspection of the legitimacy” of the decision on termination of the criminal case.

As a result of the initiated inspection, the decision on termination of the criminal case was withdrawn and an additional investigation was organised. The progress and results of the investigation are followed up by the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation and the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Russia.

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