European Court of Human Rights awarded Russian businessman €7500 for illegal arrest
Vasily Boyko-Veliky earned compensation clocking up in a pre-trial detention center.
The ECHR partially granted the complaint of Russian Milk agroholding president Vasily Boyko-Veliky, accused of organizing a criminal community. He expected to recover compensation for his illegal arrest in 2007 from the Russian authorities, but also sought compensation for the multimillion-ruble damage inflicted to the holding. Recognizing that violations were committed against the businessman only, the ECHR awarded him €7500 compensation.
In a complaint sent to the ECHR in 2007, Mr. Boyko-Veliky reported a list of violations committed against him. However, as a result, the European Court considered that the investigation and the Russian court did not have sufficient grounds for the applicant's arrest, and also did not give him the opportunity for an "early judicial review". In addition, as follows from the ECHR's judgment, in violation of the provisions of the European Convention on Human Rights, the investigator did not allow the priest, wife and mother of the arrested person to visit the remand center where Vasily Boyko-Veliky was held.
As explained by applicant Boyko-Veliky, the investigator of the Investigative Committee at the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Dmitry Bardin, refused to pass his close relatives to the pre-trial detention center with reference to the fact that they were interrogated in the case as witnesses. The priest's visit was banned due to the fact that prisoners could attend the prison church. "At the same time, no one from the SIZO where I was held was allowed to attend it," Boyko-Veliky said.
As compensation for non-pecuniary damage, the court decided to pay the applicant €7500. The money should be received by Boyko-Veliky within three months, unless the Russian authorities appeal against the decision of the ECHR. It should be noted that the businessman expected a much larger amount, believing that he should be paid compensation for damage caused to the company in connection with his arrest.
The investigation against the Russian Milk president began in 2006, and in February 2007 the businessman was detained. Later Vasily Boiko-Veliky was charged with Swindling on an especially large scale (part 4 of Article 159 of the Criminal Code) and Money Laundering (Article 174 of the Criminal Code), and he was arrested. After spending more than a year in the pre-trial detention center, the accused was released under a record bail of 50 million rubles ($882.550).
As the investigation originally believed, in 2002-2003, the statutory documents of the state farms in the Ruzsky district of Moscow suburbs were forged; the lands were then bought back by companies under businessman's control. The investigation wandered around the departments - it was completed already by the Moscow department of the ICR, and ten defendants faced one of the most grave articles of the Criminal Code - the 210 (Creation of a Criminal Community with the use of official position). At the same time, there were about 5000 victims (shareholders of state farms) in the case, and the damage caused exceeded 9 billion rubles ($158.8m). However, only part of the case reached the Ruza City Court, which refers to 300 victims who were deceived into 450 million rubles. The case consideration is ongoing.