Screenshot of the petition “Punish the killer of Vekil Abdullaev” posted on Change.org

10 June 2021, 10:57

Rights defenders and activists hope for fair inquiry into Vekil Abdullaev's murder

The release from custody of policeman, Alexander Gusev, suspected of killing the ethnic Azeri, Vekil Abdullaev, in the Novosibirsk Region, is not counter the law and does not mean that he will evade responsibility, said the lawyers interviewed by the "Caucasian Knot".

The “Caucasian Knot” has reported that on June 5, an appeal to President Putin was posted on Change.org platform. Authors of the petition called for punishment of the killer of ethnic Azerbaijani Vekil Abdullaev. Activists expressed their indignation by the fact that Alexander Bastrykin, the chairman of the Investigating Committee of the Russian Federation (ICRF), ordered to release from custody the suspect, Alexander Gusev, the senior inspector of the road police (known as GIBDD) of the Novosibirsk Region.

On May 28, not far from Novosibirsk, policeman Alexander Gusev accidentally shot dead 19-year-old Azerbaijani Vekil Abdullaev while trying to detain him. Meanwhile, the inspector later was set free.

The Bastrykin's order to release the arrested person is a rarity, says Alexander Khinshtein, a deputy chairman of the State Duma's Security and Anti-Corruption Committee. "Unfortunately, such orders aren't often. On the contrary, more often, the freedom restraint measure is toughened, since the investigating system is not aimed at a human rights function. It should be noted that the decision is legitimate – amending the restraint measure is within the investigator's powers," he said.

According to the Russia's Code of Criminal Procedure, an investigator has the right to change the freedom restraint measure imposed by the court, but only if there are good reasons – in overwhelming majority of cases, this is a mitigation of the imputed article, Evgeny Chernousov, a Moscow lawyer, told the "Caucasian Knot" correspondent. In this case, initially the defendant was charged under Articles 286 "Exceeding Official Powers" and 118 "Causing grievous bodily harm by negligence" of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation, but later the charge was reclassified into Part 1, Article 109 "Causing death by negligence" of the above Criminal Code, Mr Chernousov has explained, adding that this article is of moderate gravity and implies house arrest as a freedom restriction form.

However, the lawyer has stressed that the policeman will not be completely freed from responsibility, since there is strong evidence of his guilt.

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on June 9, 2021 at 10:48 pm MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

Author: Faik Medzhid, Oleg Krasnov; Source: CK correspondents

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