06 June 2012, Wednesday At the conclusion of the Committee of Minister’s 1144 DH Meeting the Committee issued a decision on the Chechen cases criticizing Russia’s lack of progress in ensuring effective investigations post-ECHR judgment. The decision also notes that clarification was requested on several crucial questions related to implementation of judgments from the North Caucasus, such as the application of amnesties and statutes of limitations. 

The decision came after a report submitted by Russia on 15 May which provided updates in 13 cases with strong evidence, in which the authorities still had brought no one to justice for the crimes committed by the applicants. In one case, Sadykov v Russia, a perpetrator was found guilty but was amnestied. The decision expressed concern in regard to the “lack of any conclusive results in the vast majority of the investigations conducted following the judgments of the Court”, referring in particular to the cases Akhmadova and others, Bazorkina, Khadisov and Tsechoyev, Musayev and others. The decision touched on crucial issues related to implementation of the Court’s judgments from the North Caucasus, such as statutes of limitations, victim’s rights, and the search for missing persons, and also noted that the Minister’s deputies requested clarification from the Russian authorities on the following questions:

 - on the means used or envisaged to deal with the problems raised by the fact that the matters under investigation date from long ago, including by the destruction of archives and other evidence;
 - on the impact the expiry of the statute of limitations may have on effective investigation and prosecution of perpetrators;
 - on the conditions under which the Amnesty Act could be applied, notably on who decides on the qualification of the offence which will trigger or not the application of the Amnesty Act;
 - on the use of DNA tests in the framework of investigations into the fate of disappeared persons.

The Committee also requested Russia to provide further information on the Isayeva and Abuyeva cases. 

The decision is available here.

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