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Special SK department to probe crimes committed by police

April 19, 2012, 13:19 UTC+3

The initiative of special investigation was brought forwarded by rights activists after the scandal in Tatarstan

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Chairman of the Investigative Committee /SK/ Alexander Bastrykin signed the instruction on Wednesday to set up a special department to probe the crimes committed by law-enforcement personnel. Bastrykin will personally select investigators in this special project. The initiative of special investigation was brought forwarded by rights activists after the scandal in Tatarstan, where police tortured a detainee.

 The first special department will be set up under the SK central office, an SK official told the "Kommersant." Next, similar departments will be established in all the eight branches of the Investigative Committee in the federal districts, as well as in Moscow, Moscow Region and St.Petersburg. Taking into account the fact that SK investigated more than 4,400 crimes committed by law-enforcers last year, the new SK bodies will not have enough personnel to handle all the cases. So they will mostly investigate the high-profile crimes. Operational support will be provided by the Federal Security Service, not the Interior Ministry, because it is the police who account for the bulk of law-enforcers' crimes.

 The newspaper reminds that in March 2012, rights activists sent a statement to Alexander Bastrykin to point out at the necessity to create special units to investigate police violence crimes. The statement was prompted by the incident at the Dalny police station in Kazan, Tatarstan, and other police departments, where detainees had been subjected to brutal tortures. The complaints from citizens who were tortured by police are not properly reviewed, and the quality of investigation into these cases is poor, the rights activists said. It is explained by the fact that these cases are investigated by the personnel who handle other criminal cases at the same time. And operational support of the investigation is provided by the same police.

 The necessity to set up a special body is dictated by objective reasons, the "Rossiiskaya Gazeta" writes. Last year alone, the SK had to investigate more than 4,000 crimes committed by police. In all, the SK received more than 80,000 statements from citizens about law-enforcers' crimes. It is the Investigative Committee that has the right to probe the cases against police. SK spokesman Vladimir Markin underlines that the investigators who are looking into these crimes encounter additional difficulties, as a rule. The police who have operations/search skills, often take advantages of them in order to avoid criminal responsibility. So the tasks of the new units will include an analysis of the practice of investigation of such criminal cases and finding the most effective methods of investigation.


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