Kutayev v. Russia (Application no. 17912/15)

A selection of key paragraphs can be found below the judgement.


92. The Court observes that although the place and circumstances of the applicant’s arrest are disputed by the parties, they nevertheless agreed that the applicant was apprehended by State officers on 20 February 2014 (see paragraph 21 above). Following his apprehension, numerous injuries were discovered on the applicant and recorded by the IVS staff on 21 February and subsequently by a forensic expert on 17 March 2014. The applicant also provided photographs dated 24 February 2014 depicting his injuries (see paragraphs 38-40 above). The Government did not dispute the applicant’s injuries as described by him. The Court finds that the applicant provided a detailed and consistent account of the circumstances of the alleged ill treatment, which involved beatings and the administration of electric shocks with a view to extracting a confession from him (see paragraphs 19 20 above). The fact that the applicant had injuries following his detention by the authorities was also confirmed by the statements of Mr Kalyapin (see paragraph 50 above), who testified during the applicant’s trial that he had seen the applicant’s injuries when he had visited him in the IVS.

96. Furthermore, the investigator failed to verify the only version of events that he had relied on. The forensic medical expert was not asked to assess whether it was even possible that the applicant’s injuries were the result of a single fall, as the applicant submitted on one occasion, apparently out of fear of further ill-treatment.

97. Neither the investigator nor the domestic courts, upon examining the applicant’s credible allegations, made a thorough assessment of the evidence before them. They disregarded the fact that the applicant had retracted his confession as having been given under coercion, and gave decisive weight to the statements of the police officers and State officials who had allegedly ill treated the applicant (see paragraphs 41, 57 and 58 above).

103. The foregoing considerations are sufficient to enable the Court to conclude that there has been a violation of Article 3 of the Convention under its substantive and procedural limbs.

134. In the light of all the circumstances described above, the Court finds that the applicant was not arrested as claimed by the respondent Government in the course of a random identity check during which illegal drugs were found on him. As these were given as the formal grounds to justify the applicant’s deprivation of liberty, they clearly involved an element of bad faith on the part of the police officers and the investigators. There are insufficient grounds to conclude that the domestic courts which imposed the applicant’s detention on remand also acted in bad faith. However, they failed to review both the factual and the legal basis for the applicant’s detention (see, a contrario, S., V. and A. v. Denmark, cited above, § 155).

135. The Court finds that the applicant’s deprivation of liberty on 20 February 2014 was arbitrary and did not have any legitimate purpose under Article 5 § 1 of the Convention. There has therefore been a violation of that Article.


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