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MOSCOW, March 29 (Itar-Tass) — Chairman of Russia’s Investigative Committee Alexander Bastrykin ordered on Wednesday organising a special division, which would consider only criminal cases of the police. Experts say the committee tries to improve its influence in the country and the innovation may be another stage of the indirect confrontation with the Prosecutor General’s Office.
The Rossiiskaya Gazeta quotes spokesman of the Investigative Committee Vladimir Markin as saying the new structure would focus “on probing into claims about actions of staff of the law enforcement authorities and on investigations of criminal cases involving the police.” “Every case of using force against the detained would be checked thoroughly, and objective legal procedures will be applied,” he said.
Following the scandal in Kazan, cases where the police beat the detained started pouring from other regions of the country. Now, investigators probe into a case of the police in Voronezh. Under one of those cases, accused are two former police – Valery Mochalov and Alexander Novikov, who made the detained confess in everything by beating them. Another criminal case is against former head of the regional operational search department of the Voronezh region’s police Viktor Bykov. He is accused of having beaten up two people in his office at the police station in Borisoglebsk.
Markin also spoke about a letter human rights activists has sent to Bastrykin – they asked to organised a special department at the Investigative Committee to probe into cases involving only staff of the police, drug control and penitentiary services, the Nezavisimaya Gazeta writes. Initiators of the address include the Moscow Helsinki Group, the Social Verdict Group. The regional committee against tortures, Agora regional human rights association, Memorial human rights centre, Civil Assistance committee, and Movement for Human Rights.
Press service of the Investigative Committee told the newspaper’s reporter the division had been only formed yet – the staff had just started looking into the order. the newspaper’s source at the State Duma, close to the Interior Ministry, said that the Interior Ministry was not happy about the idea of the new division.
The newspaper is asking how logical is the decision to improve control over police by forces of the Investigative Committee. The Sate Duma was bewildered with the decision. Head of the State Duma’s committee on security and fighting corruption Irina Yarovaya said a division of the kind could be more logical if organised not at the Investigative Committee, but at the Prosecutor General’s Office.
Head of the Centre of Political Technologies Boris Makarenko shares this point of view: “Nobody doubts it necessary to control the Interior Ministry. But control of the kind is usually provided by prosecution. If the Investigative Committee claims its position, it cannot be considered other than another round of competition between the committee and prosecution. We see many examples of competition between authorities, where quite often the result is lack of control and lower effectiveness of the functions the authorities have.”