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St. Petersburg court orders Interior Ministry to pay damages to teenager tortured in police custody

Source: Meduza

St. Petersburg’s Kolpinsky District Court has ordered the Russian Interior Ministry to pay 50,000 rubles (approximately $657) in compensation for moral damages in connection with the case of a teenager who was tortured at a local police station, the rights group Zona Prava told Meduza. 

The claim for compensation was filed by the victim, Vadim Koval. He sued for 2.5 million rubles (about $32,840) in damages, but the court reduced the amount of compensation 50 times over.

In May 2019, two police officers arrested Koval after a saleswoman accused him of shoplifting. Koval was 17 years old at the time and therefore a minor. Nevertheless, the police officers took him to the 80th Police Department in St. Petersburg’s Kolpinsky District without informing his mother (his legal representative) of his arrest.

At the police station, the officers tried to beat a confession out of Koval for a theft that he didn’t commit. They removed the teenager’s pants and underwear and hit him at least fourteen times, including on his feet and using a rubber baton. 

A criminal case was opened against police officers Alexander Zabroda and Evgeny Auning, who pleaded guilty to abusing Koval. A court examined the case in a special procedure and sentenced Zabroda to 20 months in prison and Auning to 18 months. The accused were also banned from working in the law enforcement system for two years and the court ordered them to pay the victim 150,000 rubles ($1,968) in damages.

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