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Prosecutor rebukes investigators for poor efforts in combating housing sector crimes

February 12, 2014, 20:38 UTC+3 MOSCOW
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MOSCOW, February 12. /ITAR-TASS/. Prosecutor General Yuri Chaika took investigators to task for poor efforts in combating crimes in the housing and utilities sector.

Speaking at the Government Hour session at the State Duma lower house of Russia's parliament on Wednesday Chaika said preliminary investigation often lacked initiative and was too long.

"As a rule, investigators explain foot-dragging by difficulties in conducting expert examinations, but in many cases such examinations were ordered after a protracted period, from six months to one year.

In the Lipetsk region, no expert examinations were carried out in five criminal cases for 11 months, and in a number of regions, probes are still running into the cases opened in 2009-2011, he went on.

In the Voronezh region, an investigator suspended the probe for no valid reason 12 times, Chaika said, adding that the probe is still incomplete.

In the Volgograd region, investigation into one case was suspended five times because the culprit had not been identified, although proceedings were opened against a concrete person over misappropriation of funds, Chaika said.

Of 1,400 resolutions on suspending such criminal cases, 339 were overturned by investigative bodies, and the remaining by prosecutors.

"Unsurprisingly, just one quarter of such criminal cases go to courts. In the Voronezh, Lipetsk and Tomsk regions none of the cases went on trial," the prosecutor general emphasized.

In the housing and public utilities sector, it is not very difficult to establish the identity of culprits due to the sector specifics. At present, 20% of cases are dropped because of faulty actions in the beginning of the investigation. Prosecutors reopened 526 (60%) of 850 cases illegally dropped by investigators.

Chaika noted social tensions caused by decisions by the organizations regulating tariffs and consumption norms for the population and officials' affiliation with housing and public utilities organization in all regions.

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