Mardiros Demerchyan and chief of legal department of the "Public Verdict" Foundation Elena Pershakova. Photo by Svetlana Kravchenko for the 'Caucasian Knot'.

11 October 2016, 09:35

Defence of Mardiros Demerchyan draws Court's attention to contradictions in testimonies of prosecution witnesses

In Sochi, at the session of the Adler District Court in the case against builder Mardiros Demerchyan, accused of slander, the policemen and medical attendants have claimed that no torture was used against Mardiros Demerchyan and that he got no bodily harm. The defence of the accused builder has drawn the Court's attention to the fact that the testimonies given by the policemen contain a lot of contradictions.

The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that Mardiros Demerchyan who worked at construction of Olympic facilities claims that after his detention on June 12, 2013, on suspicion of stealing building materials, he was subjected to severe torture. The law enforcement authorities did not only refuse to institute a criminal case at the complaint of Mardiros Demerchyan, but also accused him of slandering the police.

On December 17, 2014, the court found Mardiros Demerchyan guilty of false denunciation of policemen. However, on April 2, 2015, the verdict was cancelled. At present, the case is re-considered.

On October 10, the court session was attended by Elena Pershakova, the chief of the legal department of the "Public Verdict" Foundation. With the help of advocate Alexander Boichenko, Elena Pershakova presented to the Court a message from the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR), reporting that the Government of the Russian Federation was proposed to define its position on the Mardiros Demerchyan's case before January 16, 2017.

Elena Pershakova has noted that "at present, there is a vicious tendency to voice accusations of false denunciations against the persons who file complaints about the police on facts of torture and other crimes."

"It is a fundamentally wrong practice. That is why it is important for us to bring the Mardiros Demerchyan's case to its end and to set a precedent to break this vicious practice, which endues people in positions of authority with immunity to the laws of the Russian Federation," Elena Pershakova told the "Caucasian Knot" correspondent. And she continued: "In the Mardiros Demerchyan's case, we observe a typical pattern, which should be disclosed in full. The ECtHR is interested to learn how after beatings and concussion, Demerchyan was able to get from the police station to the hospital. The Government of the Russian Federation will have to explain that fact to the ECtHR until 2017, unless the local court investigates the fact independently."

Full text of the article is available on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’.

Author: Svetlana Kravchenko; Source: CK correspondent

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