Who is the insulted one?
On 7 May 2003 the Rubezhnoye town court issued the resolution about the cessation of the criminal case against Nikolay Morgunov, a 70-year-old pensioner, who was accused of strapping Vladimir Nedilko, a deputy of Severodonetsk town council.
The judge asked N. Morgunov not to repeat in future such actions as strapping state officers.
N. Morgunov was accused of the crime envisaged by Article 296 part 1 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine. Glagovskiy, the prosecutor of Severodonetsk, formulated his accusation against Morgunov in the following way: “… on 2 July 2002, about 8:10 a.m., Nikolay Morgunov entered the office of V. Nedilko, the main specialist of the managing apparatus of the executive committee, with the intention of brutal violation of public order on the basis of negligible reason. Here Morgunov began to swear at Nedilko, after which he threw a jar with sour cream towards the deputy and spoiled his shirt costing 150 hryvnas, trousers costing 90 hryvnas, shoes costing 450 hryvnas and 5 rolls of wallpaper having the total cost of 200 hryvnas, which were bought by Nedilka at his own expense. All in all, the inflicted material damage was equal to 890 hryvnas. After this Morgunov took off his belt and delivered several blows in different parts of Nedilkos body inflicting injuries in the form of the graze on Nedilkos chest, in the oblast of the left forearm, on the right side of the back surface of the chest, on the external side of the right shoulder and on the external side of the left elbow joint, which, according to the act of the forensic expertise of 2 July 2002 is regarded as slight bodily injuries without serious harm to health. The hooligan actions of Morgumov were of prolonged and continuous character and lasted for 10 minutes”.
The reason “negligible” for the prosecutors office, but important for the accused was the violation of his rights of grandfather. N. Morgunov explained that V. Nedilko and his concubine, the former daughter-in-law of Morgunov, ignored resolution No. 434 of the town directorate of education of 14 May 2002 and impeded his meetings with granddaughter making him to meet her in secret.
In summer 2002 the grandfather prepared some presents for the girl, who stayed in the summer camp, and wanted to visit her. Yet, Nedilko took the girl away from the camp before this meeting. Morgunov came to the town executive committee and tried to learn from Nedilko, where his granddaughter was, but Nedilko answered that Morgunov had no granddaughter. The old man was outraged with this answer, he splashed sour cream at Nedilkos table, took off his belt and hit him with it twice.
Nedilko estimated the moral and material damage inflicted to him and the damage to his business reputation as equal to 5000 UAH. At that he, being a state official, followed the principles of “humanism and social equity; priority of rights and freedoms of a citizen”; being a deputy he obeyed the rules of deputies ethics: “not to humiliate honor and dignity of voters”.
Taking into account the everyday boorishness of our officials, the described measure – strapping with belt – seems to be rather useful, but too expensive, especially for pensioners.
On 7 October 2002 Severodonetsk town court started the consideration of Morgunovs case, but the advocate of the accused insisted on the consideration in the Rubezhnoye town court. The advocate did not believe that Severodonetsk court would consider the case impartially and would punish the guilty.
After the first court sitting the prosecutors officer of Rubezhnoye, who supported the accusation, said that this case was very complicated, since it was overflowed with emotions.
The result of the attempt of the court to estimate the actual sum of the damage was unpleasant for the victim: the court rejected his claims. Really, the complaint looks rather improbably: it seems to be impossibly to spoil a shirt, trousers, shoes and five rolls of wallpaper with one jar of sour cream (250 ml). And how Nedilko could afford to buy so expensive clothes for himself and wallpaper for his office? This question was solved by the mother of the victim: she gave money to her son and took the decisions about the utilization of his things on the basis of … mystical reasons. So, she threw away the shoes spoiled by the sour cream being afraid of sorcery.
The results of the forensic expertise are also rather strange. Nobody except Severodonetsk official Nedilko has such part of body as “the right side of the back surface of the chest”. Besides, the accused stated that he was beating Nedilko only on his bottom. He had no other alternative, since after he splashed the cream on the table, the victim tried to leave the room, being bowed and showing him the mentioned part.
The officer of the Rubezhnoye prosecutors office, who asked to stop the case on the basis of Article 48 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine and to reject the claim on recompensing the material and moral damage, together with the Rubezhnoye town court, which issued the resolution about the cessation of the criminal case, cut short the attempts of the insulted official to put Morgunov in his place.
Unfortunately, Nedilko still insults the dignity of both the old man and his granddaughter, who is deprived of the right to meet her grandfather.