Posted 8 августа 2023,, 07:34

Published 8 августа 2023,, 07:34

Modified 8 августа 2023,, 09:14

Updated 8 августа 2023,, 09:14

«Honor? No, haven't heard…"How in Russia people are imprisoned in fabricated criminal cases

«Honor? No, haven't heard…"How in Russia people are imprisoned in fabricated criminal cases

8 августа 2023, 07:34
The entrenched system pushes law enforcement officers to provocations, the invention of fake evidence. This way they improve statistics and disclosure. It comes to the point of absurdity: operatives themselves plant drugs, ammunition, forge extremist communities themselves, and for this they themselves sit on the bench.

Julia Suntsova

Fake criminal cases in Russia appears for various reasons. Law enforcement officers can deliberately provoke a person and bring an obviously innocent person under the article in order to improve statistics or finally reveal the «hangers-on» to report to the management, or simply earn money.

Most often in Russia fabricates «narcotic» and «weapons cases»

For example, operatives face the task of uncovering the actual storage or sale of narcotic substances. They have no leads on criminals, and they do not want to work or do not know how. In order not to go far, the police grab an ordinary drug addict and offer to take over the possession of drugs (it happens that the data on toxicological patients are drained by doctors, ambulance).

They agree very simply: if you don't admit to storage now, after some time we will take over the sale or transportation, but the term will be much more severe — choose.

With less «beaten» addicts, you can play a game: hand over the entire network now — all your «comrades» — from those with whom you use together to those from whom you order and buy, and you will remain free. A person testifies to others, but as a result, he also turns out to be irrevocably embedded in them.

There were cases when operatives from the control department got acquainted with girls on dating sites, threw drugs at them and offered to solve the issue for money themselves.

In the same way, they «reveal» cases of weapons storage — they conduct a search in a criminal case and unexpectedly find an AK-47 cartridge in the apartment or in the room, which they themselves planted there. Please — an additional episode, an additional «stick» and immediately attached 100% disclosure.

The fatal Box of Lieutenant Yevgeny Lyapin

A fresh example. A 27-year-old lieutenant from the Bryansk region, Yevgeny Lyapin, tried to kill two birds with one stone. He wanted to «make a stick» on both drugs and weapons — and for this he persuaded his friend to hide the transferred box at home. The policeman even paid 1,500 rubles for the service provided for the storage of the «forbidden»! And then a couple of days later, the lieutenant himself solved this crime! The box contained smoky powder, three cartridges, 12 wads, 11 capsules for cartridges and a plant similar to cannabis.

The policeman forced his countryman from the village of Dyatkovichi to give false testimony, and then sent the fabricated papers to the investigation department, where a criminal case was opened against the man under the article on illegal storage of explosives.

However, the methods of Lieutenant Lyapin used to solve crimes were very disliked by the Department of Internal Security of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and very soon a criminal case was opened against the Bryansk law enforcement officer himself.

Former colleagues at the Ministry of Internal Affairs in January of this year accused Lyapin of abuse of office, and, at the same time, the Investigative Committee became interested in the origin of explosives and narcotic substances — and added these «people's» articles to the general accusation.

Photos of the «home drug lab» became one of the turning points in the case of Ivan Golunov

Unscrupulous operatives are helped by the same unscrupulous investigators to promote the case to the necessary turns. Interrogate witnesses and victims, as it should be, find the right witnesses.

For example, a witness says that he did not see how the operatives took drugs out of the suspect's pocket, but they put pressure on him: «Come on, tell me what you saw. You were on the spot, standing next to him and not blind, like, you know that he is a drug addict, otherwise we will call for investigative experiments and confrontations every day.»

Or they intimidate: «Oh, you're protecting him, aren't you an accomplice, by any chance?» And the witness gives up.

In the high-profile case of Ivan Golunov, the operatives who detained him not only found «bags of substance» in his pockets, but also found a whole drug lab with scales, packing material, cocaine and alpha PVP, as if right at his house! The press service of the Ministry of Internal Affairs distributed falsified photographs allegedly taken during a search at a home address. Pretty quickly, witnesses said that the photos were not taken at Golunov's house. A few days later, the Interior Ministry admitted that the photographs were not related to the journalist's case.

No fingerprints of Golunov were found on the bags seized during the arrest. There were no biological traces of the journalist on the items seized during the search at his home. Urine tests, hand washes and nail slices also revealed no traces of drugs.

The witnesses turned out to be not entirely random and acted as them on an ongoing basis.

Six months later, the Basmanny District Court of Moscow arrested five former operatives of the Department of Internal Affairs for the CJSC of the City of Moscow — the department for combating drug trafficking Denis Konovalov, Akbar Sergaliev, Maxim Umetbaev, Roman Feofanov and the former deputy head of this department, police Major Igor Lyakhovets.

Six months later, the Moscow City Court found them guilty of abuse of office, falsification of evidence of operational investigative activities and drug trafficking (Articles 286, 303, 228 of the Criminal Code Russia) and sentenced to imprisonment for terms from 5 to 12 years in a general regime colony.

Categorical experts and expertise

Another feature, especially in «extremist» and «terrorist» cases, is expertise, which then cannot be refuted. These examinations are born, as a rule, in the forensic centers of the Ministry of Internal Affairs or scientific centers with which law enforcement officers cooperate on an ongoing basis.

Experts write the necessary conclusions, judges often rely on them as the main proof of «guilt».

The problem is that there are no counterweights for these «official» examinations.

The accused bring independent examinations with opposite conclusions, but they are not taken into account, even if they are attached to the case materials. It is believed that examinations from private centers should be treated critically, because they are paid for by the customer, and it is strange that the conclusions will play against him. Perhaps there is some rationalism here.

But there is also a clear conflict of interest in the official examination. An expert of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, forming an evidence base for his colleague, an investigator of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, also cannot be crystal impartial.

Hit parade: classified witnesses, lost evidence, agents and recruiters

There are a lot of questions about «classified witnesses». These characters give evidence in court via video link from a secret room with an altered voice and a blurred face.

From the same caste — professional «scavengers» in helmets at rallies. They fall and get injured from the slightest touch, and then they get preferential apartments for their services to the motherland.

The testimony of these «professional witnesses» sometimes plays a decisive role in sentences, but no one except the investigation knows these people and has no way to verify their testimony.

It is not uncommon for an operative's best friend to be an investigator. And such investigators would accidentally «lose» the originals of the documents entrusted to them, flash drives in video cameras or video recorders, or video recordings are «damaged» in the right place. This is also a kind of forgery and falsification of criminal cases.

Another scheme: there is a long-unsolved crime. Operatives take a person who is similar in signs to a previously convicted person and convince the victims that they have caught the same one and help to «identify» him.

So, by the way, in 1983, Alexander Kravchenko was arrested, tried and shot on false charges, hanging on him the murder of the 9-year-old first victim of Chikatilo. The investigators had nothing but a forced confession and the criminal past of the defendant.

A setup for programmers

Another common scheme is when their agents are sent to programmers and persuaded to help them install an unlicensed program, while specially choosing the one that is more expensive in order to pull on a heavier item «a» Part 3 of Article 146 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (violation of copyright and related rights on a particularly large scale) — with imprisonment of up to 6 years and a fine of up to 500,000. Naturally, everything is framed as an accident, where the programmer himself takes the initiative and almost promotes his such services through advertising. That's the solved crime.

It is not uncommon for an investigator to accidentally «lose» the originals of the documents entrusted to them, flash drives in video cameras or video recorders, or video recordings are «damaged» in the right place.

The case of the «Police Ombudsman»

By the way, one of the fighters against fraud in law enforcement agencies was a major of the Moscow police, a former operative of the criminal investigation department Vladimir Vorontsov. During his service, he created the independent trade union movement «Police Ombudsman» and helped colleagues to fight unfair working conditions, the caning system, and also denounced colleagues who were making a deal with their conscience.

In 2020, three years after his dismissal from the service, Vladimir Vorontsov was simultaneously accused of extortion, distribution of pornography and insulting a representative of the authorities.

The ombudsman's apartment was stormed from the roof by special forces «Thunder» to detain him.

Vorontsov did not admit guilt and linked his persecution to human rights activities and criticism of the leadership The Ministry of Internal Affairs. In 2022, he was sentenced to five years in a penal colony and stripped of the rank of police major. Many representatives of human rights protection also consider the cases against Vladimir Vorontsov to be fabricated.