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Nine prosecutions over the death of a detainee passed to the court

12.05.2009

The Prosecutor General’s press service reports that the cases of nine officers of the Chernihiv Regional Department for Fighting Organized Crime [UBOZ] have been passed to the court. They are charged with exceeding their powers.  The report speaks of four people having been detained on suspicion of committing a crime, with physical violence being applied leading to the death of one of the detainees.

As reported already, Serhiy Kuntsevsky died on 2 October from a closed skull injury in the premises of the Chernihiv Regional UBOZ in Prytuky. Video footage of the actual detention showed officers putting a polyethylene bag over his head. He was detained in the early afternoon and died at around 10 in the evening.

Shortly afterwards the Chernihiv Regional Prosecutor reported that a criminal investigation had been initiated against three officers and a lower-ranking employee of the Chernihiv UBOZ in Prytuky on suspicion of inflicting grave bodily injuries causing death and exceeding their official powers (Articles 121 § 2 and 365 § 3 of the Criminal Code, respectively. Later criminal investigations were initiated against 10 UBOZ officers.

It is a little disturbing given the above details, and others reported since the tragedy, that no mention is made of the first Article, nor of applying the Article against torture.

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