Постановление Европейского суда по правам человека от 15.10.2009 «Дело Антипенков (antipenkov) против России» [англ.]

Город принятия

(Application No. 33470/03)
(Strasbourg, 15.X.2009)
*This judgment will become final in the circumstances set out in Article 44 § 2 of the Convention. It may be subject to editorial revision.

In the case of Antipenkov v. Russia,

The European Court of Human Rights (First Section), sitting as a Chamber composed of:

Christos Rozakis, President,

Nina {Vajic}*,

*Здесь и далее по тексту слова на национальном языке набраны латинским шрифтом и выделены фигурными скобками.

Anatoly Kovler,

Elisabeth Steiner,

Khanlar Hajiyev,

Dean Spielmann,

Sverre Erik Jebens, judges,

and {Andre} Wampach, Deputy Section Registrar,

Having deliberated in private on 24 September 2009,

Delivers the following judgment, which was adopted on that date:

1. The case originated in an application (No. 33470/03) against the Russian Federation lodged with the Court under Article 34 of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms ("the Convention") by a Russian national, Mr Roman Vladimirovich Antipenkov ("the applicant"), on 2 October 2003.

2. The Russian Government ("the Government") were represented by Mr P. Laptev and Mrs V. Milinchuk, former Representatives of the Russian Federation at the European Court of Human Rights.

3. The applicant alleged, in particular, that he had been ill-treated by the police at the police station and that the investigation into his complaints of ill-treatment had been ineffective.

4. On 23 October 2006 the President of the First Section decided to give notice of the application to the Government. It was also decided to examine the merits of the application at the same time as its admissibility (Article 29 § 3).

5. The Government objected to the joint examination of the admissibility and merits of the application. Having examined the Government's objection, the Court dismissed it.

I. The circumstances of the case
6. The applicant was born in 1980 and lived until his arrest in the town of Dyatkovo in the Bryansk Region. He is serving his sentence in the correctional colony in the village of Kamenka in the Bryansk Region.

A. Use of force during the applicant's arrest and
a prosecutor's decision of 30 December 2002
7. On 14 December 2002 the police arrested the applicant and brought him to the Dyatkovskiy District police station.

8. On the same day a police officer, I., who had taken part in the applicant's arrest, drew up a report, informing the chief of the Dyatkovskiy District police station that a man had approached him and his fellow officers in a street, complaining that he had been beaten up and robbed. The applicant had passed by and the victim had identified him as the robber. The applicant had tried to escape but he had been apprehended and taken to the police station. The report did not indicate whether force or special means had been used during the arrest.

9. The applicant lodged a complaint with the Dyatkovo Town Prosecutor's office, seeking institution of criminal proceedings against the arresting police officers. In particular, he alleged that the police officers had unlawfully applied force against him during the arrest.

10. On 30 December 2002 a deputy Dyatkovo Town Prosecutor issued a decision, finding that there was no case to answer and dismissing the applicant's complaint. The decision stated that on 14 December 2002, after the applicant had committed the robbery, police officers had stopped him in a street and had ordered him to get into a police car. The applicant had refused, had punched police officer Ka. in the face and had attempted to escape, threatening the officers with a knife. Police officer I. had hit the applicant with a rubber truncheon on the arm, forcing him to drop the knife. Subsequently, the police officers had forced the applicant into the car. The deputy prosecutor concluded that there had been no indication of a criminal offence in the police officers' actions. The applicant was served with a copy of that decision.

B. Alleged ill-treatment in the police station, after
the arrest and ensuing investigation into
the applicant's complaints
11. According to the applicant, after being taken to the Dyatkovskiy District police station on 14 December 2002, he had been placed in a cell. An assistant police officer on duty, P., had approached the applicant and hit him with a rubber truncheon approximately ten times on the left side of the body and once in the face. An officer on duty, S., had entered the cell and had started beating the applicant as well. The beatings had continued for an hour and a half. The applicant had subsequently been placed in the detention facility of the Dyatkovskiy District Police Department.

12. The Government, relying on the information provided by the Prosecutor General's office, submitted that on 14 December 2002 the applicant had been taken in a state of alcoholic intoxication to the duty unit of the Dyatkovskiy District police station. After being placed in a cell for administrative detainees, he had started kicking the door, using obscene language and ignoring the police officers' orders to stop the unlawful behaviour. Police officer P. had entered the cell and hit the applicant a number of times in the back with a rubber truncheon. After officer P. had left, the applicant had stripped to the waist and started pushing the door. The police officers, using force, had transferred him to another cell. While he was being escorted to the new cell and was passing the desk of an officer on duty, the applicant had started spitting on the desk communication board. Officer P. had thus been forced to hit the applicant with a rubber truncheon. In the new cell the applicant had continued kicking the door. The police officers had had no choice but to handcuff the applicant to a metal bar, so he could not reach the door. Shortly after, when the applicant had calmed down, the handcuffs had been removed. No force had been applied against the applicant after that incident.

13. On 15 December 2002, on admission to the detention facility of the Dyatkovskiy District Police Department, an officer on duty examined the applicant and drew up a report, recording the following injuries on his body: bruises on the chest, numerous injuries on the back, bruises on the left hip and buttock, injuries on the forehead, face and left cheek. As shown by the documents presented by the parties, on 16 December 2002 an emergency doctor was called to attend to the applicant in response to his complaints about severe pain in the jaw and chest. The doctor examined the applicant, noted his injuries and, suspecting that he could have had a rib fracture, recommended an examination by a traumatologist.

14. Five days later the applicant complained to the head of the detention facility about the beatings in the police station and sought the institution of criminal proceedings against the police officers.

15. On 20 December 2002 the applicant was examined in the medical division of the Dyatkovskiy District Police Department and a report was drawn up. According to the report, he had a hypodermic injury on the left side of the chest. The injury measured 15 centimetres in length and 5 centimetres in width and resulted from a blow by a rubber truncheon.

16. Ten days later the applicant, being diagnosed with encephalomyelopolyneurotis, was admitted to the hospital of the Dyatkovskiy District Police Department where he stayed until his transfer, on 22 January 2003, to Bryansk prison hospital No. OB-21/2. He remained in that hospital until 4 February 2003 with a diagnosis of "consequences of neuritis of the left fibular nerve".

17. In the meantime the applicant lodged a complaint with the Dyatkovo Town Prosecutor, describing the beatings in the police station on 14 December 2002 and asking for an investigation into the incident.

18. On 23 January 2003 a deputy Dyatkovo Town Prosecutor refused to institute criminal proceedings against police officers P. and S., finding that their actions, in a situation where the applicant had behaved in an unruly manner, had been lawful and proportionate.

19. On 4 April 2003 a deputy Bryansk Regional Prosecutor annulled the decision of 23 January 2003 and authorised a re-examination of the applicant's ill-treatment complaints. The relevant part of the decision read as follows:

"The decision [of 23 January 2003] was manifestly ill-founded and premature, as the investigation had been incomplete; the circumstances in which the injuries to [the applicant] had been caused were not fully examined; [the applicant] was not questioned and [he] did not undergo an examination by a medical expert; administrative and criminal arrestees detained in [the police station] were not questioned about the events; the traffic police officers who had brought [the applicant] to the [police station] were not questioned; therefore [the decision] should be annulled."
The deputy prosecutor also drew up a list of measures which should be taken in the course of the new round of the investigation, including a medical examination and questioning of the applicant, and the establishment and questioning of possible eyewitnesses among those persons who had been detained with the applicant.

20. On 14 April 2003 a deputy Dyatkovo Town Prosecutor, in a decision worded identically to the one issued on 23 January 2003, once again refused to institute criminal proceedings against officers S. and P., confirming the lawfulness of their actions.

21. On 6 August 2003 the Bryansk Regional Prosecutor informed the applicant that the decision of 14 April 2003 had been quashed, that an additional investigation into his complaints was to be conducted and that the case file had been sent back to the Dyatkovo Town Prosecutor's office. When quashing the decision of 14 April 2003, the Bryansk Regional Prosecutor's office repeated the list of investigative steps to be taken.

22. On 22 August 2003 an assistant Dyatkovo Town Prosecutor dismissed the applicant's complaints against police officers S. and P., finding no case of ill-treatment. The decision of 22 August 2003 was similar in its wording to those issued on 23 January and 14 April 2003.

23. In October 2003 a neuropathologist examined the applicant and diagnosed him with asthenovegetative syndrome related to a head injury.

24. On 21 October 2003 the Dyatkovo Town Prosecutor annulled the decision of 22 August 2003, finding that the investigation had been incomplete. A new round of investigation was authorised.

25. Three days later, on 24 October 2003, an investigator of the Dyatkovo Town Prosecutor's office once again dismissed the applicant's complaint, repeating the findings made in the decision of 22 August 2003. In addition, the investigator recounted statements made by the applicant, by an investigator who had interviewed him on 14 December 2002, by a doctor who had examined the applicant on 16 December 2002, by two persons who had been detained with the applicant on 14 December 2002, and by the victim whom the applicant had robbed. The applicant had maintained his complaints. The investigator had testified that he had not seen any injuries on the applicant and that the latter had not made any complaints. The doctor had stated that she had been called to attend to the applicant who had complained about pain in the jaw and on the left side of the chest. She had examined the applicant and recorded injuries on the chest and lower jaw. She had presumed that the applicant had had a rib fracture. She had indicated that the applicant had to be examined by a traumatologist. The inmates had testified that the applicant had been placed in their cell in the second half of the day on 14 December 2002. He had shown them injuries on his back and complained that he had been beaten up by the police officers. The victim had testified that he had not seen any injuries on the applicant's body on the day of the robbery.

The investigator concluded that officers S. and P. had acted in full compliance with requirements of Articles 13 and 14 of the Police Act.

26. On 19 May 2004 the Dyatkovo Town Court, acting on the applicant's appeal against the decision of 24 October 2003, confirmed the findings made by the investigator. The Town Court noted that the officers' actions had been beyond reproach, the lawfulness and proportionality of their actions being manifest.

27. On 23 July 2004 the Bryansk Regional Court quashed the decision of 19 May 2004 and remitted the case for re-examination to the Town Court. The Regional Court held, in particular, as follows:

"At the same time it is impossible to conclude that the decision of the investigator refusing institution of criminal proceedings was lawful and well-founded, taking into account the following considerations.

As shown by the material from investigation No. 1-13 opened upon the [applicant's] complaint, the investigator's conclusions drawn up in the decision [of 24 October 2003] do not correspond to the circumstances of the case which were established in the course of the investigation. Moreover, the investigation was incomplete.

The fact of [the applicant's] arrest and [his] placement in the detention facility of the Dyatkovskiy District Police Department on 14 December 2002, at 7.20 p.m., was confirmed by an extract from the registration log of persons brought to the police department... According to an extract from the record of medical examinations of persons detained in the detention facility of the Dyatkovskiy District Police Department, on 15 December 2002, at the time of the placement, [the applicant] had injuries on the left and right sides of the body, the left and right buttocks, injuries on the forehead, the bridge of his nose, the left cheek, and numerous injuries on the back.

As is apparent from the statements by [the victim of the robbery], on 14 December 2002, at about 7 p.m., [the applicant] had no visible injuries.

The decision [of 24 October 2003] did not indicate whether it had been established that [the applicant] had been injured by officers of the police department during his arrest.

Therefore, in the course of the investigation the investigator of the prosecutor's office did not establish the time, place, extent, or method and means of infliction of the injuries which [the applicant] had been found to have during his examination on 15 December 2002; the severity [of those injuries] was likewise not established.