Almost Seven Years: 15-year-old Convicted over Fight in Qonayev


An incident with tragic consequences occurred in Qonayev in June last year. Three intoxicated men started a fight after they were unable to buy beer in a store, reports.

Last summer, 15-year-old Yemil Trapeznikov worked part-time as a waiter at a recreation area in Qonayev. On June 25, 2023, at about seven o’clock in the evening, he was in a store nearby with the sales assistant's 14-year-old daughter. 

The woman went to run errands, leaving the two at the cash register. Three intoxicated men entered the store and demanded beer. Yemil Trapeznikov explained that the store was halal and that there was no alcohol. They left the premises but later returned. After receiving a second refusal, they insulted Yemil and 14-year-old Albina.

They insulted Yemil and the assistant’s daughter and swore at them. They said: 'Go, lad, buy us beer since you don’t sell it.' My son never fought, that was the first time he actually hit a person,  said Yemil’s mother Christina. 

A 19-year-old came to their aid. He is the nephew of the recreational area's owner. A verbal altercation ensued and turned into a street melee. 

In the CCTV video, the three adult men are conversing with the young men. One grabs Yemil's friend, puts his arm around his neck, and says something to him. Another approaches him, and the 19-year-old pushes him. The man then swings in response. While the 19-year-old backs away, the second man tries to approach again, with the first man seemingly trying to break them up. Yemil strikes the man trying to approach the 19-year-old, and the man falls to the ground. He died 26 days later in hospital. 

At the end of April, Yemil was convicted under Part 3 of Art. 106 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Kazakhstan “Intentional infliction of grievous bodily harm”. 

He was sentenced to six years and eight months in prison. 

Reaching out for Help

Journalist Zhanna Akhmetova spoke about the incident on her page. She requested lawyers Rena Kerimova, Azamat Baikenov and Elena Zhigalyonok to intervene. 

This is an outrageous case. I prepared background information for the Ombudsman for the Protection of Children's Rights, Dinara Zakieva, in which I wrote about the circumstances of the case. Dinara Bolatovna immediately filed an application with the Supreme Court and the Prosecutor General's Office so that the case could be taken under control. She supported us. Now, my colleagues and I are studying the case, but I think that we will ask to overturn the sentence and reclassify it to a less severe article: either exceeding the limits of necessary defense or causing death by negligence (Manslaughter - Ed.), Article 104 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Kazakhstan,said lawyer Rena Kerimova.  
 Yemil Trapeznikov. Photo from the family’s personal archive

After the lawyers and the Ombudsman for Children’s Rights joined in, the regional deputy prosecutor Sayan Bakirov lodged a protest against the verdict.

Before the verdict was pronounced, the prosecutor’s office did not ask to return the indictment to them and did not drop the charges under Part 3 of Article 106. They are doing this after the verdict has been passed. Apparently, they do not agree with the verdict. Apparently, only now have they examined the case and realized that a miscarriage of justice had been committed. A very serious and severe miscarriage of justice. Kerimova emphasized.  

The lawyer said the affected party reconciled with Yemil’s family during the trial. He was ready to renounce all claims and take the compensation. Yemil's father paid three million tenge against written acknowledgment. 

The affected party, however, opted out of the reconciliation at the trial. He returned the money. The lawyer emphasizes they borrowed money from everyone they could.

“Words cannot express what we have suffered this year. He's still just a child. Yemil was very worried. Cried constantly. We very much sympathize with the family of the deceased, there are children without a father, but my son did not kill a person. He died from a fall, not from the hand of my son. When we call each other, my son often asks: 'Mom, what am I doing here? Why is all this happening to me?' He asks me to take him home. says Christina. 

The boy’s mother has shared that their son was learning the waltz and dreamt of graduating. Yemil wanted to become a police officer. Now, his mother is content with only rare calls from her son from the pre-trial detention center and hopes her son’s sentence will be revised. 

Original Author: Maria Kravtsova

DISCLAIMER: This is a translated piece. The text has been modified, the content is the same. Please refer to the original piece in Russian for accuracy.