January 7, 2015
Lugansk Information Center – Press Center of Lugansk People’s Republic
Translated from Russian by Kristina Rus
LPR law enforcement representatives revealed the details of a criminal investigation in respect to Batman’s gang.
During a press conference at LuganskInformCenter, LPR acting Attorney General Zaur Ismailov, head of the investigation Department of the LPR Prosecutor General, Leonid Tkachenko, and first Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs of LPR, Igor Markov, talked about the reasons for the initiation and investigation of the criminal case against the gang, led by Alexander Bednov (“Batman”), about the process of establishment of law and legality on the territory of the Republic, the liberation of the victims, the testimony and voluntary confessions of crime suspects.
FACTS WERE GATHERED SINCE SEPTEMBER
That evidence of the wrongdoing of the fighters of the former combat unit of a rapid response team (RRT [GBR in Russian])) began to acumulate since September, said the first Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs of LPR Igor Markov.
“Literally from day one, as soon as an order on the appointment of the Minister of Internal Affairs was signed, patrol brigades of the Ministry of the Interior were organized. We began to receive materials about the illegal actions of mister Bednov. And in September we tried to solve these issues in a military context, in order to prevent unlawful acts against the civilian population,” – he said.
However, Alexander Bednov declined a dialogue with authorities.
“We met with the head of the GBR [Batman], however, were unable to influence the situation. But all the facts that emerged then were documented. And all the facts that today underlie the criminal case, did not appear overnight,” – said the first Deputy Interior Minister.
THE FAME DOES NOT PROTECT FROM LIABILITY
During the hostilities in LPR ex-commander of “Batman” has managed to create a popular image among Lugansk citizens, as an uncompromising combat commander. The greater was the shock of his supporters, who suddenly learned about the killings, abductions and torture of people and looting by the members of GBR.
According to the head of the investigative department of the Prosecutor General of the Republic Leonid Tkachenko, the military achievemnets of Alexander Bednov and the fighters of the rapid response team “Batman”, which he commanded, did not give them the right to break the law.
“No one diminishes the service of Alexander Bednov, as we do not detract from combat merit of this division. But no achievements give the right to violate the law,” – said Tkachenko.
Today the accomplices of Bednov are accused of crimes on two heavy counts.
“Criminal cases were initiated on the grounds of crimes article 146, part 3: “Unlawful deprivation of liberty followed by grave consequences” and 115, part 2: “Premeditated murder committed by a group of persons,” – said the head of the investigative department of the Prosecutor General of the Republic.
IN THE FRAMEWORK OF THE LAW
The criminal case, investigation and prompt action against members of the gang of Batman were performed in accordance with the applicable LPR laws.
“Article 86 (part 2) of LPR Constitution states that laws and other legal acts are applicable on the territory of the Republic, if they do not contradict the Basic Law, until the establishment of the new legislative framework. Criminal acts are now being reviewed in accordance with the 1960 Criminal code, since the norms of the criminal code of 2012 are not acceptable for LPR,” – explained Leonid Tkachenko.
“There were several decrees of the head of the Republic about the release of those persons detained by the military units, or transfer of them to the law enforcement agencies – to the Ministry of Defence or Ministry of the Interior. There was an appropriate order of the commander of the People’s Police. The orders and decrees were ignored by the division headed by Batman,” – said the head of the investigative department of the Prosecutor General of the Republic.
THE PRISONERS WERE PREPARING TO BE SHOT
In total, during a special operation 13 people were released from the cellars of the group.
“The release of these people was conducted by the joint efforts of the Ministry of Defense, Ministry of the Interior and the Ministry of State Security of the Republic. The victims were rescued from the basements of the auto base and a car wash. In those moments they thought they were going to be shot,” – said the first Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs of LPR, Igor Markov.
“Before the new year they were held at a special forces base, heavily guarded, because there was information that they were to be liquidated,” – said Markov.
Today, according to him, their lives are out of danger. All illegally deprived of their liberty are at home with their family.
“REVENGE” WILL NOT WORK
Acting Attorney General of LPR Zaur Ismailov, commenting about the information, which appeared online that on the territory of LPR there are allegedly close accomplices of Bednov, “ready to avenge him, and to liquidate the first persons of the Republic”, said that any attempts to avenge Bednov will be stopped by law.
“I want to say: if anyone, whether from the former battalion “Batman”, or of any other armed group will make any attempt or action – they will be dealt with in accordance with the law and the consequences will be appropriate,” – warned the acting attorney general.
“Yes, the Republic is at war. Yes, there are the fighters, who really have a military merit. But there are facts, there is credible evidence, proving the guilt of the defendants in the criminal case. And we will only work in this framework,” – said Ismailov.
“MAKHNOVSHINA” – OUTSIDE THE LAW
According to the head of the investigative department of the Prosecutor General of LPR, Leonid Tkachenko, the fighters of the militia units that do not transfer to the People’s Police and have not layed down their weapons will be deemed to be participants of illegal armed formations.
“Those who do not want to join the service in the People’s Police and refused to surrender their weapons, are automatically considered illegal groups. Their activities will be stopped,” – he said.
MEMBERS OF GBR CONTINUE SERVICE IN THE PEOPLE’S POLICE
The “Batman” unit did not ceased to exist, because its work was banned by the law enforcement agencies, said Tkachenko.
“GBR “Batman” became part of one of the units of the LPR People’s police. Therefore they had to obey the orders of the commander-in-chief of People’s police,” – said Tkachenko.
He stressed that a majority of the fighters, who previously belonged to GBR, now serve in the ranks of the People’s Police.
PS Lugansk authorities also reported they they will investigate the excessive use of force during an attempted apprehension of Batman and his bodyguards, during which all of them were killed.