Pumane case: honour and truth of the Major Dushenko

Arrested at night on 18 September 2004 in motor car filled in with explosives Alexander Pumane died in the morning of the same day in the Sklifosovsky Institute, not revived.  Death cause: bodily injuries delivered, apparently, during examination.  Vyacheslav Dushenko, the Major of the Militia, was “assigned” as the main suspected person.

Two years of incrimination, the federal and international investigation, life in the distance from relatives.  The case got a wide public attention, was actively discussed in mass media.  But as a result – full withdrawal of all charges and public rehabilitation of the Major Dushenko. 

September of 2004 was uneasy for Russia.  A wave of terrorism overwhelmed the country and the chilling the blood tragedy in Beslan forced all people, and in first turn law-enforcement agencies, to live in tension, redoubling their vigilance manyfold. 

About 1 a.m. at night Alexander Pumane, the arrested retired officer – submariner of 38 years old, was conveyed to the Militia department and on the next day mass media reported: he died from blows.  They found almost immediately who should be accused in what happened: Vyacheslav Dushenko, the Major of the Militia, stated as a dirty cop.  Everything is clear and simple.  But was it like this in truth? 

The chronology of events, reported by mass media, appears as follows: 

The morning of 18 September – first publications.  Information agency REGNUM with reference to Interfax already at 11 a.m. reports on arrest of the supposed terrorist and his sudden death from…. heart attack.  A number of editions also asserted that when Pumane was arrested he was under pilled up.  Explanations which he, according to mass media, gave to special agents were the following:  for one thousand US Dollars he was asked to drive off mined motor car to “Borodino panorama” museum, located in Kutuzovsky prospect. 

On 20 September RIA news reports that Pumane died from found bodily injury.  And here they first mention on initiation of proceedings against officers of the militia on the fact of exceeding duties. 

On 4 October “Russian newspaper” publishes the material that Vyacheslav Dushenko “was temporarily dismissed” and ran away, hiding from justice.  Some “details” of the case come to light in the article.  For example how Dushenko took Alexander Pumane from the investigator to the basement in order “to turn on the heat”.  Though “Russian newspaper” diffidently concealed the fact that the major during his so-called talk with the arrested person really fixed characteristics of explosive assemblies.   And he did so, among other things, before witnesses. 

In that ill-fated night in the 83th department of the militia where Alexander Pumane was taken to it was very problematic to do something without witnesses.  In this department they had never seen such number of officers of the militia, and of very high rank.  According to the report of the same “Russian newspaper” the arrested person was examined by not less than 150 people.  And at the same time: the head of the Counter-terror department somehow could take Pumane absolutely free and stayed with him one on one for a long time.  In a word, a clear contradiction is apparent. 

Even outsiders see discrepancies and ask many “why” from very beginning of acquaintance with the case.  Why did the investigator Petrov always change his evidences?  How could an inexperienced investigator be admitted to the examination of the terrorist as Petrov was at that time?  What did the investigator see and what does he remember? 

Among other things the protocol of the first examination of Petrov and evidences of Vyacheslav Dushenko were practically identical (and this is in absence of the contact between them).  But following explanations of the investigator become covered with details, fantastically convenient to those who decided to accuse Dushenko.  Journalists of “The man and the law” program in their independent investigation at the First channel pay attention to this fact. 

 But in those days hardly anybody paid attention to discrepancies.  In conditions of furious public attention which was made by killing the person within the walls of the department of the militia quick decisions were required.  “RIA news” reports on accusation against Vyacheslav Dushenko. 

Nobody worried that these decisions could break the life of not guilty person just appeared in wrong time and wrong place….Nevertheless a version of events, stated by the major, proves that “time and place” were right because just Vyacheslav Dushenko, seeing the state of the arrested person, called to the emergency and tried to administer first aid.  He transferred Pumane to arrived doctors and even accompanied him to the medical car.  Could he realize that afterwards just this action of the real man and the officer will be the base of accusations against him?  Though, it is can be said with confidence, that even if he knew he would do the same.  His conscience would not allow him do stay aside. 

The final of this cause célèbre was not so celebrated.  It appeared that hereditary officer Alexander Pumane was a member of so called “Kingisepskaya group” – a gang of killers by means of which many people died.  The arrested person stayed in Moscow not for terroristic act execution but for execution of another “order”.  This sensational information and also news on arrest of a number of gang’s members was reported by RIA “New” and by many other news agencies. 

The leader of the organization, Sergei Finagin, was arrested later. 

The customer of the majority of crimes was also revealed, it was Igor Izmestyev, the senator from Bashkiria. 

Vyacheslav Dushenko was fully discharged.  But, as it appeared, discharge and return of a good name to the man in Russia is not a reason for reinstatement in service which was given the whole life to: http://www.kommersant.ru/doc/820567?themeID=38 

After exhausting suits Vyacheslav Dushenko could not return to his work.  It should be taken into account that at that time the leader of the Main Internal Affair Directorate of Moscow was the General Pronin and the Moscow court came down to his side.  The decision was delayed and that deprived Dushenko of his constitutional right to make a complaint against it in the court. 

Pronin was dismissed on 28 April 2009 voluntarily after his subordinate, Denis Evsyukov, holding at that time the position of the Head of the Department of Internal Affairs “Tsaritsino”, organized shooting in one of Moscow supermarkets resulted in the death of two people and heavy injuries of seven people.  But after such cause célèbre Pronin still holds responsible positions in the Moscow administration. 

It took almost three years to discharge Vyacheslav Dushenko in full.  And he gave an interview to journalists of “The man and the law” program for the first time not hiding his face.