Trial Over Paramedic in Inmate’s Death Case Starts in Minsk
On September 16, the Maskouski district court in Minsk held the first hearing into the death case of Ihar Ptsichkin: the 21-year-old man died in Valadarka detention facility in Minsk, on August 4, 2013, a few days after he was sentenced to three months’ arrest.
The forensic report cited cardiac failure as the reason for the death. The family, however, protested claiming that the man had had no health issues and the body had bruises and injuries. Prison administration acknowledged that they had fastened Ihar Ptsichkin with belts to restrain reactions of alleged drugs withdrawal syndrome.
The relatives of the deceased suggested that his death was violent and drew attention to injuries on his body. As a result of three years’ investigation, an officer of the medical unit Aliaksandr Krylou was charged with failure to provide medical attention to the inmate that caused his death. The case was opened according to art. 162 part 2 of the Criminal Code – professional negligence of the paramedic causing death of the patient.
The judge is Sviatlana Bandarenka, the aggrieved persons are the mother and the sister of the deceased.
In the first hearing, the prosecutor read out the charges: at half past midnight on August 3, 2013, Ihar Ptsichkin was tied to bed following the ruling of the duty paramedic Aliaksandr Krylou. The patient behaved inadequately because of an alleged drugs withdrawal syndrome. The man was found dead on August 4, at 8.05 am. Staying tied for a long time without due medical aid caused him painful processes, speeded up exhaustion, led to health deterioration and subsequently to acute cardiac failure. The paramedic did not render due intensive medical aid, and thus is charged with an offense according to article 162, part 2.
Aliaksandr Krylou pleaded non-guilty, stating that he had made a regular inspection of the patient.
Zhanna Ptsichkina, mother of the deceased, claims that the investigation was superficial because it failed to establish the nature of the injuries on her son’s body. It took her three years to bring the case to court. Pavel Sapelka, lawyer of the Human Rights Center "Viasna", is sure that “it was only the publicity that the case gained and support from human rights defenders that led to a proper investigation”.