15.12.2003 | Vasyl Girskiy, Chernivtsy

Militiamen were condemned for violence


On 21 July the Sadgirskiy local court condemned three former officers of the Chernivtsy town militia precinct, who last year mutilated a young dweller of Chernivtsy. After the publication in the newspaper “Molody Bukovinets” and the interference of other mass media the case became widely known and the victim managed to bring a suit against the militiamen. This story about the torture applied to an innocent person by militiamen was told in the Parliament by ombudsperson Nina Karpacheva.

On 5 May 2002 citizen A. turned to the Chernivtsy town militia precinct and complained that her computer had been stolen. Junior lieutenant Volodymir Sergiy and captain Ruslan Bartiuk got the order to investigate this burglary. Oleksandr Kiriliuk attracted their attention, since he could repair various technical equipment. The officers visited his flat and detained the boy under some negligible reason. Later Oleksandr told that he had learned about the real reason of the detention only in the militia car.

In the precinct the militiamen began to beat Oleksandr. “Bartiuk took the baton and ordered me to confess. I answered that I had not stole the computer and had the alibi. Yet, nobody checked the alibi. Ruslan Bartiuk hit me on the head, and when I raised up my hands to protect the head, they handcuffed me. My head was swollen, but nobody noticed that”.

After some time they continued the torture and began to beat the boy with wire and a plastic bottle filled with water. Then the captain suggested another “method”.

Oleksandr was forced to his knees, his head was bent to the couch. The militiamen took off Kiriliuk’s trousers and thrust the baton into his anus. The victim cried wildly. The torturers did not stop, they began to photograph the victim saying that if he would not confess, they would pass the photos to the prison, and his life there would be very hard after this. Junior sergeant Sergiy Skvortsov also took part in the torture: he gagged Oleksandr with a duster and held his hands. “I will sign everything, stop to torment me!” begged Kiriliuk. He was let alone.

When Oleksandr Kiriliuk stayed in hospital, the militiamen bought the pack of kefir and some sausage for him.

Yet, the boy had to undergo the surgical operation, doctors fought for his life for five hours. Nine serious injuries were found, among them: the cerebral brain concussion, closed trauma of stomach, rupture of the middle wall of rectum, purulent fecal peritonitis. Later the forensic experts classified these injuries as grave and “dangerous for life in the moment of infliction”.

When Olena, Kiriliuk’s mother, first saw her son in the hospital, she was astonished. The upper part of his head was “gelatinized”. Hear will never grow there after the hits with the baton and other things. When Olena took her son to Kyiv, and they visited the General Prosecutor’s office, the woman-prosecutor asked Oleksandr to leave the office, since she could not look at the after-effects of the beating.

The commandment of Chernivtsy militia tried to come off clear. They invented the version that Kiriliuk got the traumas as a result of fall on the stairs. They also insisted that the traces of beatings were on his body at the moment of detention – allegedly he had been beaten by somebody in the park.

However, Olena Kiriliuk continued the struggle. She found the independent experts, who examined her son and issued the medical certificate. The General Prosecutor’s office and ombudsperson N. Karpacheva intervened in this case. The militiamen were arrested.

“The trial was rather protracted, since the victim was sick and his treatment was long”, told Oleksiy Strizhakovskiy, the Chernivtsy transport prosecutor, who represented the state prosecution. “The trial was closed. The vicious practices of the work of criminal investigation department was unmasked at the court sittings, and the only name that may be given to these practices is lawlessness. Bartiuk, Sergiy and Skvortsov said that they acted with the noble purpose: they wanted to find a criminal. So, nobody doubts of it, this is their professional duty, but they had no right to apply such cruel methods!”

The court condemned Bartiuk, Sergiy and Skvortsov to different terms of incarceration: the former captain got four years, his accomplices – three and a half years each. All of them were condemned according to Articles 365 part 3 (exceeding the professional authority that resulted in grave consequences) and 121 part 2 (premeditated physical injuries) of the Criminal Code of Ukraine. After the end of the term of imprisonment the former militiamen will be prohibited to occupy the posts connected with the functions of the representatives of the power during three years. They also were deprived of special ranks.

The court took into account the fact that the accused had minor children, that they frankly repented of their actions and apologized to the victim.

It seems to us that the guilty got off too lightly, since their crime does not correlate with the term of incarceration. Yet, the court knows better. At least, we will hope that the colleagues of the condemned will not repeat their experience, but will apply only lawful methods during investigation.

The newspaper “Molody Bukovinets”

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