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Probe into police beating will be continued

A court in Lidzbark Warmiński ordered prosecutors to continue the investigation in a case of men beaten by officers at a police station. The court instructed the prosecution to interview a new witness in the case.

Krystian Jacyno and Kazimierz Wołkowski had been beaten while interrogated at the District Police Headquarters in Lidzbark Warmiński. The police officers forced them to kneel with their faces to a wall and beat them with batons on the bare soles of their feet. The proceedings concerning the alleged abuse of power by the officers were discontinued. The Prosecutor’s Office grounded its decision for discontinuation on the failure to detect the perpetrators.

The Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights endorsed the complaint lodged in the case arguing that such conduct of the Police was utterly unacceptable. “The reported officers’ behaviour constitutes a violation of the constitutionally protected rights and freedoms of the individual, including the prohibition of torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment”, says Piotr Kubaszewski, HFHR lawyer.

The Foundation stressed that from the moment of arrest and through an interrogation an individual remains under the protection of the state. “The District Prosecutor’s Office in Bartoszyce has made no attempt at indicating a specific police officer who was responsible for the victims’ detention in custody of the District Police Department in Lidzbark Warmiński. It might have been, for instance, a duty officer”, explains Piotr Kubaszewski.

At the court hearing counsel for the injured referred to the above-mentioned submission of the HFHR and moved that the Prosecutor’s Office consider prosecuting the case as a complicity case. “It must be established whether police officers who committed the offence acted together and in concert”, adds Mr Kubaszewski.

According to the statistical data provided to the HFHR by the National Police Headquarters, in years 2007-2010 between 17,191 and 19,036 complaints against police officers were filed, out of which between 1,398 and 1,710 were found justified.

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