Trial on Oyub Titiev: day 8

11.09.2018

On August 27, 2018 the trial against the head of the Chechen branch of the Memorial, Oyub Titiev, continued in the Shalinsky District Court.

Peter Zaikin was the only of Titiev’s lawyers present. Both prosecutors were present.

During the hearing, 17 witnesses of the prosecution were questioned - officers of the Russian Federation’s Ministry of Internal Affairs in the Kurchaloevsky District of the Chechen Republic. Witnesses stated that they did not know Oyub Titiyev, were not involved in his arrest or in further investigative actions, and could not say much on the case.

All 17 witnesses basically "did not remember" or "did not know" anything: their official duties, which vehicles they use, from whom they receive instructions. Some witnesses literally fell into a stupor from the simplest questions from the lawyer. Sometimes they gave one answer to all the answers "Yes, no, I do not know" or "No, I did not see, I do not remember." According to attorney Zaikin, the reason for this behavior is that they received instructions with answer options, but at times they did not know which of them would be the right one and so, to be safe, they answered all at once.

The witness Ramzan Esambaev has worked at the checkpoint at the entrance to the administrative complex since 2017, which includes the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Kurchaloevsky District. The vehicles need passes to get through the PPM, civilians are only let through with an employee or with the permission of the duty officer. The log book was not used for registration, he does not know why.

Sulumbek Ahmedov, the witness, was on duty on January 9, 2018, at the duty unit of the Ministry of Internal Affairs in Kurchaloevsky District of the Chechen Republic. At about 12:00pm, an operative from the criminal investigation department brought Oyub Titiev in to the MIA as a suspect. He stayed in the duty room for several minutes while Oyub was registered. At about 3pm Oyub was taken out of the department – the witness did not see it himself and only knows that the head of the criminal investigation department, Salah, signed under the appropriate entry in the logbook of detainees. Oyub Titiev said that he was never in the duty room and had not seen the witness.

The judge tried to convey to the witnesses that you need to listen to questions, "ponder", try to understand them, ask and clarify, if it's unclear, to understand what the questions are about. Prosecutors nervously reacted to attorney’s questions. Baitieva was particularly impatient, interrupted them, and sometimes answered for the witnesses and jumped from her seat. It came to point that the judge had to calm her down and remind her where she was.

The witness Shamil Musayev said that he does not have a driving license, although in the testimony given during the preliminary investigation he stated that during the patrol on January 9 he was behind the wheel. Attorney Zaikin filed a petition to summon again investigator Muratov, who interrogated Musayev at the preliminary investigation. According to the lawyer, Muratov did not interrogate Musayev and that there are signs of a falsification of the case. The judge rejected the petition.

Almost all witnesses stated that they had never seen police officers dressed in green camouflage, or in uniforms with the letters “RRU,” camouflage or green color official cars, or cars with the letters "RRU" or "Rapid Response Unit" in Chechnya. Almost everyone questioned did not know what RRU is at all. At the best, a witness had heard of it.

Witness Said-Ahmed Khuseinovich Makhmudov, an officer of the Ministry of Internal Affairs in the Kurchaloevsky District of the Chechen Republic, said that he has been working at the MIA since 2013 and during all his time there he never saw the inscription "RRU" at the Kurchaloi MIA. Today, at the building of the Shalinsky court, he saw security officers with stripes of "RRU", but did not know what this abbreviation stands for. He did not remember the color of their form, only that it was something bright.

Witness Abubakar Khasanovich Patashev, an officer of the Ministry of Internal Affairs in the Kurchaloivsky District of the Chechen Republic, said that the shirt that he is wearing is blue, although it is green. He said that the officers of the Kurchaloi MIA wear green and blue camouflage clothes, while the green one is "their personal uniform" (the witness did not explain what he meant). On January 9, in his patrol unit, all employees were in green uniforms. But after a while Patashev said that he only had a blue and a ceremonial uniform and that there never was a green one. He could not explain the difference between green and blue camouflage, in his opinion, the difference is not in the color.

At the same time, some of them have pages on Instagram that are full of photos, on which they are wearing green camouflage clothes with the inscription "RRU" with cars with the same letters. There are not only individual, but also group photos, taken, in all likelihood, at the on the territory of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Kurchaloevsky district.

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