Постановление Европейского суда по правам человека от 29.07.2010 «Дело Копылов (kopylov) против России» [англ.]

Город принятия

(Application No. 3933/04)
(Strasbourg, 29.VII. 2010)
*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 Kopylov 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,

Giorgio Malinverni,

George Nicolaou, judges,

and {Soren} Nielsen, Section Registrar,

Having deliberated in private on 6 July 2010,

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

1. The case originated in an application (No. 3933/04) 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 Oleg Viktorovich Kopylov ("the applicant"), on 25 December 2003.

2. The applicant, who had been granted legal aid, was represented by Ms E. Krutikova and Mr M. Rachkovskiy, lawyers with the International Protection Centre, an NGO based in Moscow. The Russian Government ("the Government") were initially represented by Mr P. Laptev and Ms V. Milinchuk, former Representatives of the Russian Federation at the European Court of Human Rights, and subsequently by their Representative, Mr G. Matyushkin.

3. The applicant alleged, in particular, that he had been ill-treated by police officers and escorts and that the investigation into his allegations of ill-treatment had been inadequate and ineffective.

4. On 5 October 2006 the Court declared the application partly inadmissible and decided to communicate the complaints concerning the alleged ill-treatment and ineffective investigation to the Government. It also decided to examine the merits of the application at the same time as its admissibility (Article 29 § 1).

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 1967 and lives in Lipetsk.

A. Ill-treatment by the police from January to April 2001
1. The applicant's arrest on suspicion of murder
and his ill-treatment by the police
7. On 22 January 2001 at about noon the applicant was arrested and escorted to the Interior Department of the Lipetsk Region. It appears from a report by the arresting police officer that the applicant had been arrested on 22 January 2001 on suspicion of drug trafficking. However, no drug-related charges were ever brought against him. According to the applicant, he was told that he was suspected of murdering a policeman. He denied any involvement.

8. In the evening of the same day the applicant was transferred to Dolgorukovskoe police station, of the Lipetsk Region, where he was beaten up by Mr Gerasimov (the head of the police station) and Mr Abakumov (the head of the Investigations department). According to the applicant, they slapped and kicked him in the head, trunk and solar plexus. They forced him to kneel down in front of a picture of the murdered policeman and to apologise for killing him. They undressed him and threatened to rape him. Mr Gerasimov smacked his hands over the applicant's ears. He lost consciousness and was handed over to the police officers Mr Kondratov and Mr Trubitsyn, who continued the beatings. They tied his hands behind his back with a rope and hung him down, then put a gas-mask on him and blocked the air vent.

9. At about midnight the applicant was placed in a punishment cell at the police station.

10. On 23 January 2001 the applicant was formally detained and questioned. He denied his guilt and signed an undertaking not to leave the town. However, instead of being released, he was again placed in a cell at Dolgorukovskoe police station. It is apparent from the register of detainees at the police station that the applicant was held there from 23 to 26 January 2001.

11. According to the applicant, during his detention at Dolgorukovskoe police station he was repeatedly beaten up by Mr Lukin (the head of the public safety department), Mr Abakumov, Mr Gerasimov and Mr Butsan (a deputy head of the police station). He was also punched by the police officers Mr Kondratov, Mr Trubitsyn, Mr Alyabyev, Mr Panteleyev and Mr Savvin. They slapped and kicked him in the head, back, stomach, kidneys and liver, hit his eyes with their fingers, smacked their hands over his ears and spat at him. They threatened to rape and kill him. They put a gas-mask on him and blocked the vent, and forced him to inhale cigarette smoke.

12. On 26 January 2001 the applicant was formally remanded in custody on suspicion of murder. He was then transferred to Volovskoe police station of the Lipetsk Region, where he remained until 28 January 2001. He was questioned by Mr Shubin, who threatened to beat him up if he did not confess to the murder.

13. On 28 January 2001 the applicant was taken back to Dolgorukovskoe police station. He stated that every day from 28 to 31 January 2001 he had been severely beaten up by the same policemen as before. Mr Alyabyev, Mr Lukin and Mr Kavyrshin administered electric shocks to various parts of his body through wires connected to a dynamo and insisted that he should refuse legal assistance and confess. The applicant lost consciousness several times. An investigator from the prosecutor's office of the Lipetsk Region, Mr Andreyev, witnessed the ill-treatment.

14. On 29 January 2001 the applicant had a talk with Mr Ibiyev, an investigator from the prosecutor's office of the Lipetsk Region in charge of the inquiry into the policeman's murder. Mr Ibiyev allegedly urged him to confess and threatened that beatings would continue until the confession was made.

15. On 30 January 2001 the applicant confessed to the murder and his confession was videotaped. Before the videotaping, the police officer Ms Karavayeva put make-up on his face to conceal the bruises.

16. On 31 January 2001 the applicant was charged with murdering the policeman. He repeated his confession to the investigator Mr Ibiyev. Before being questioned he made a handwritten statement that he did not require legal assistance.

17. On 2 February 2001 the applicant was transferred to detention facility No. YuU-323/T-2 in the town of Yelets in the Lipetsk Region ("the Yelets detention facility"). On that day he had a meeting with counsel retained by his mother. Counsel saw bruises and abrasions on his face and body.

18. From 9 to 17 February and from 29 March to 7 April, the applicant was held at Dolgorukovskoe police station. According to the applicant, he was repeatedly beaten up by the same policemen as before. They tied him up, wrapped him up in a mattress, put him on the floor and jumped on him. They hit his feet with rubber truncheons, punched and kicked him, and smacked their hands over his ears. They pointed a gun at him and threatened to rape him. They put a gas-mask on him and blocked the vent. They also tortured him with electricity.

19. On 16 May 2001 the murder charge against the applicant was dropped because he had retracted his confession and there was no other evidence against him.

20. On 15 January 2002 the Lipetsk Regional Court convicted another person for the policeman's murder.

2. Relevant medical documents
21. It appears from certificates issued by a deputy head of the Yelets detention facility and by a doctor of the same facility that the applicant arrived there on 5 February 2001. There were bruises around his eyes and crusted abrasions on his wrists. The applicant complained of a headache. He was examined by a neurologist, who found no traces of craniocerebral injury. However, he was given treatment for "a prior craniocerebral injury", allegedly received in 1984.

22. On 6 February 2001 the applicant was examined by a medical expert, Mr Yermakov. It was recorded in his report that the applicant had bruises around his eyes, a bruise on his trunk, a bruise on his left hip, and crusted abrasions on his wrists. Mr Yermakov found that those injures had been inflicted more than two weeks before. However, he subsequently stated to the investigator that his assessment had been mistaken and that the injuries had in fact been received less than two weeks before the examination.

23. On 21 February 2001 the applicant was diagnosed with otitis (an inflammation of the internal or external ear, usually caused by bacteria or trauma).

24. On 28 February 2001 the applicant was X-rayed. No traces of post-traumatic bone deformation were detected.

25. On 21 March 2001 the applicant was examined by a panel of psychiatrists who concluded that he was mentally sane.

26. The applicant repeatedly complained about aching feet. On 20 April, 20 June and 16 July 2001 a surgeon examined his feet and found no post-traumatic pathology. However, on 13 and 18 June 2006 doctors detected podoedema (swelling of the feet and ankles) and depigmentation of his feet.

27. In June 2001 the applicant was diagnosed with chronic post-traumatic arachnoiditis (pain disorder, caused by the inflammation of one of the membranes of the spinal cord).

28. In June and July 2001 he repeatedly complained about headaches, nausea, dizziness, general weakness and recurring loss of consciousness. A neurologist found that he was suffering from the after-effects of repeated craniocerebral injuries and brain concussion.

29. On 28 August 2001 he was diagnosed with cerebral oedema (an excess accumulation of water in the brain as a result of, among other things, head injury) and post-traumatic deformation of two left ribs.

30. On 1 November 2001 he was examined by a psychiatrist who diagnosed post-traumatic asthenoneurotic syndrome (tics).

31. On 12 February 2002 the applicant was diagnosed with obliterating endoarthritis (inflammation of and damage to bone joints caused by strains or injuries) and neuropathy of the feet (a disease affecting the nervous system caused by infection, repeated trauma or acute trauma).

32. On 18 March 2002 medical experts of the Lipetsk Regional Department of the Ministry of Health returned the following findings on the basis of the applicant's medical records:

- the injuries described in the medical report of 6 February 2001 had been caused 8 to 12 days before the examination of the bruises, and 3 to 7 days before the examination of the abrasions. The injuries could have been inflicted under the circumstances described by the applicant;

- it is not possible to establish with certainty whether the applicant had sustained a craniocerebral injury on 24 January 2001.

33. On 7 May 2002 the applicant was diagnosed with left-side hearing impairment.

34. On 31 May 2002 a panel of psychiatrists of the Lipetsk Regional psychiatric hospital examined the applicant and concluded that prior to the arrest he had been in good health. In the course of the investigation and detention he had developed a post-traumatic stress disorder which took a chronic form. The organic personality change and paranoid personality disorder could have been caused by ill-treatment inflicted on him between 22 January and 1 July 2001.

35. On 29 October 2002 the applicant was examined by a panel of psychiatrists of the Serbskiy State Scientific Institute of Social and Forensic Psychiatry in Moscow. The psychiatrists confirmed the findings of the examination of 31 May 2002 and stated that the applicant's psychiatric disorder had been the result of a brain trauma in April 2001. They recommended that the applicant undergo psychiatric treatment.

36. On the same day the applicant was examined by a surgeon who diagnosed him with post-traumatic arthritis of both feet. A neurologist concluded that he was suffering from the after-effects of repeated craniocerebral injuries and from post-traumatic encephalopathy (a brain disease).

37. It is recorded in a certificate of 22 November 2003 that the applicant was suffering from left-side deafness and right-side hearing impairment.

38. In 2004 the applicant was granted disability status and a pension.

39. According to a certificate of 2 July 2007 by Dr M., the psychiatrist treating the applicant, the applicant still suffers from psychiatric disorders. He visits a psychiatrist twice a month and receives psychoactive drugs in large doses. However, despite the intensive treatment, his psychiatric condition is continuing to deteriorate.

40. On 26 February 2008 a panel of psychiatrists from the Serbskiy State Scientific Institute of Social and Forensic Psychiatry in Moscow found that since 2001 the applicant had been suffering from a post-traumatic paranoid personality disorder. That disorder was so severe and lengthy that it could be defined as chronic. They concluded that he needed in-patient psychiatric treatment.

3. Investigation into the alleged ill-treatment
41. Starting from the beginning of February and until April 2001 the applicant and his counsel filed many complaints about the ill-treatment with the town and regional prosecutors and with the Prosecutor General of the Russian Federation. The applicant described in detail the treatment to which he had been subjected, named the police officers of Dolgorukovskoe police station implicated in the ill-treatment and asked to be examined by a medical expert with a view to noting his injuries. He asked the prosecutor's office to initiate criminal proceedings against the police officers.

42. On 5 June 2001 the applicant's complaints were sent by the prosecutor's office of the Lipetsk Region to the investigator Mr Ibiyev who was asked to carry out a preliminary inquiry. However, the applicant's complaints were subsequently referred to the prosecutor's office of Yelets.

43. The prosecutor's office of Yelets questioned three of the police officers named by the applicant. They testified that the applicant had not been subjected to any ill-treatment. On 6 July 2001 the prosecutor's office of Yelets refused to initiate criminal proceedings against the police officers. That decision was set aside by the prosecutor's office of the Lipetsk Region and an additional inquiry was conducted. In particular, the periods of the applicant's time in Dolgorukovskoe