Sergei Lapin

12.04.2016 ( Last modified: 14.06.2016 )
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Sergei Lapin, also known as « Kadet », served in Grozny, Chechnya, as a lieutenant in the Russian special police detachment (OMON) from the Khanty-Mansiiskii region.

On 2 January 2001, Lapin and another official, whose identity remains unknown, took 26 year-old Chechen student Zelimkhan Murdalov to the police station in the district police of Oktyabrsky. During his detention, Murdalov was beaten with a truncheon and subjected to electric shock treatment in order to obtain his collaboration with the police forces. According to witnesses, Murdalov lost consciousness several times during the interrogation. On the next day, he was transferred to another cell and since then, his fate remains unknown. He is believed to have been tortured to death and is now one of thousands of people who have become victims of forced disappearances in Chechnya.

In September 2001, the journalist Anna Stepanovna Politkovskaya published an article where she wrote about allegations connecting Lapin to the disappearance and torture of Murdalov. Following the publication of the article, she received letters containing threats to her life. Lapin was suspected to have written these letters and a criminal investigation was opened in October 2001.

In January 2002, Lapin was arrested and charged in connection with the allegations of disappearance and torture of Murdalov.


legal procedure

In January 2002, Lapin was arrested and charged in connection with the allegations of disappearance and torture of Murdalov.

He was released pending trial since the Court did not considerer him to be a threat to the public order.

The trial started in May 2003 but Lapin did not attend, claiming that he had a mental illness.

On 29 March 2005, the Court found Lapin guilty of intentional infliction of serious harm to health under aggravating circumstances, exceeding official authority under aggravating circumstances and forgery by an official. He was sentenced to 11 years’ imprisonment and banned from working for agencies under the control of the Ministry of Internal Affairs for three years following his release.

Moreover, the Court sent a special ruling to the Head of the Khanty-Mansiiskii Russian special police forces, strongly criticizing the conducts of the OMON unit serving under his commandment in the Chechen region.


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