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Duma committee doesn't not support parliamentary probe of Serdyukov affair

February 13, 2014, 15:53 UTC+3 MOSCOW

On December 20, 2013, a package of documents needed for forming a committee to conduct a parliamentary investigation of Serdyukov’s activity was submitted in the State Duma

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Russian State Duma

Russian State Duma

© Mikhail Dzhaparidze

MOSCOW, February 13. /ITAR-TASS/. The committee for constitutional legislation and state construction of State Duma lower house of Russian parliament did not support Thursday an initiative of the Communist Party of Russia to conduct a parliamentary investigation into the affair of former Defence Minister Anatoly Serdyukov, who was charged with negligence in one fraud case and was also questioned as a witness in another embezzlement case.

“The Russian Investigative Committee is probing several criminal cases,” the committee said in its decision. “Meanwhile, investigation of several episodes is finalised, defendants are studying the case files,” the committee said.

Lawmakers from the parliamentary committee recalled that according to legislation “parliamentary investigation is not conducted in the facts and circumstances that the indictment contains and limited by corpus delicti.”

So, “possible parliamentary investigation in circumstances laid out in a petition from deputies (Communists) should be terminated, because being a subject of investigation they may become a matter for a trial soon,” members of the committee ruled.

“Those materials, which our colleagues (initiators of investigation) produced, contain eight episodes, which should serve as a matter for the parliamentary committee to study them,” chairman of the committee from United Russia Vladimir Pligin noted. Citing a letter from deputy chairman of the Investigative Committee and head of the main military investigation department Alexander Sorochkin, he noted that all these episodes “are being studied by defendants and lawyers or are at the stage of investigation and at the start of procedure of studying case files.”

“So, the subject in the strict sense of the law on parliamentary investigation is included completely in the material of the criminal case and there are no prospects for conducting such a difficult procedure as parliamentary investigation,” Pligin reaffirmed.

The parliamentary committee has earlier made a request in the Investigative Committee over possible parliamentary probe, on which deputies from the factions of Communists and A Just Russia insisted.

According to the law, “facts of blatant or massive violations of human rights and freedoms guaranteed in Russian Constitution, circumstances related with man-made emergency situations and circumstances related with negative aftermath of natural and man-made emergency situations” can be subject to a parliamentary investigation. To launch a procedure of parliamentary investigation its initiators should produce evidence about concrete violations.

On December 20, 2013, a package of documents needed for forming a committee to conduct a parliamentary investigation of Serdyukov’s activity was submitted in the State Duma.

Communist deputy Anatoly Lokot noted earlier that 84 Communist lawmakers and 19 A Just Russia deputies had signed an address for launching an investigation. So, 103 deputies with 90 required signatures inked the initiative.

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