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Some Crimean prosecutor’s office employees to work in Russia’s Investigative Committee

SIMFEROPOL, March 26, /ITAR-TASS/. Some employees of the Crimean Prosecutor’s Office, which was in charge of preliminary investigation in line with Ukrainian laws, will work in Russia’s Investigative Committee, the Republic of Crimea’s acting prosecutor, Natalya Poklonskaya, said Wednesday.

“Crimean Prosecutor’s Office employees will partially be transferred to the Investigative Committee. The transfer will become possible after re-certification. Some officers, if they wish, will be able to continue working in the prosecutor's office,” Poklonskaya told Itar-Tass.

She said prosecutor’s office employees are obtaining Russian passports.

Earlier, Russian Prosecutor General Yury Chayka issued an order to form the Prosecutor’s Office of the Republic of Crimea and the Prosecutor’s Office of Sevastopol, a city with a special status on the Crimean Peninsula, in the system of Russia’s prosecutor’s offices. Poklonskaya was appointed acting Crimean prosecutor.

The Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol, where most residents are Russians, held a referendum on March 16, in which an overwhelming majority of their population decided to secede from Ukraine and join Russia.

Crimea subsequently signed a treaty on its accession to the Russian Federation on March 18. Russia’s upper house of parliament ratified it on March 21. Russian President Vladimir Putin signed relevant laws on the same day.

The developments came amid political turmoil in Ukraine, where a coup occurred in February following months of anti-government protests that often turned violent.

Russian Investigative Committee spokesman Vladimir Markin said Wednesday that his Committee will form departments in the two new constituent members of the Russian Federation.

“Now crimes committed on the territory of the two new Russian constituent members will be treated in line with the current Russian criminal legislation, and criminal cases on crimes within the investigative jurisdiction of Russia’s Investigative Committee will be investigated by Investigative Committee investigators in line with the norms of Russia’s criminal procedural legislation,” he said.

In the Soviet Union, Crimea used to be part of Russia until 1954, when Nikita Khrushchev, the first secretary of the USSR’s Communist Party, transferred it to Ukraine's jurisdiction. In 1991, with the collapse of the Soviet Union, Crimea became part of newly independent Ukraine.