Makin investigation more efficient
On 15 January 2011, functions of prosecutor’s supervision and investigation were separated and the Investigative Committee became independent state body investigating the most difficult criminal cases.
On the eve of anniversary a SP reporter talked with Sergey Dubrovin, Head of Stavropol Territory Investigations Directorate of the Russia’s Investigative Committee about results of the performance in 2012, problems and prospects of investigating.
- Mr. Dubrovin, where were the main efforts of you structure directed?
- As in previous years in the first place we sought to ensure efficient protection of rights of the victims. The closest attention was paid to fighting corruption, extremism and terrorism, crimes against children and other socially vulnerable groups of citizens.
- Does the Investigative Committee adopt new methods and equipment in its work?
- Each year the crimes become more sophisticated and criminals more resourceful in hiding traces. Due to these facts we with the direct help from the Central Office of the Investigative Committee introduce new methods of investigation, latest forensic and special equipment. Last year we bought a cyanoacrylate camera to get fingerprints on “complicated” surfaces: wood, paper. We actively use a georadar – a device which allows detecting objects, and namely bodies in solid mediums: in soil, concrete. Our forensic department is equipped with devices allowing detection of complex technical devices – video cameras, cellphones. Our staff are being constantly trained so that they could efficiently use all technical innovations.
- What is the percentage of solved crimes in the Territory?
- We do all possible to find people who committed crimes. For that purpose, we cooperate with divisions of the Interior Ministry and Federal Security Service, exchange information with authorities and organize continuous professional training for our investigators. The following numbers say about efficiency of the measures taken: the percentage of crimes solved in 2007 was just 58.1%, but after 2007 it was no less than 80%. The situation is the same for the percentage of solved rapes. I want everyone to know: not one crime, even that wasn’t solved for a long period, does not go forgotten. In 2012 alone, more than 110 crimes of past years were solved. They include 7 murders committed in 1990-2000s, 9 rapes, 7 facts of grievous bodily harm entailing through negligence death of the victim. I tell you more, almost all of these cases were sent to the court with charges.
- Sometimes your press-service post messages saying: “criminal investigation is under special control”. What specific features should there be in the case, for it to be taken under special control?
- We want to provide preemptive procedural control over the progress of investigation of all cases investigated. Rights of all participants of criminal proceedings would be observed, independent of their social status or circumstances of the crime. It other thing that some of the crimes we investigate excite wider public reaction, arouse active discussions in press and society. There are a lot of such examples in our practice. These are a criminal case over a terrorist attack committed in 2010 in the center of Stavropol, murders and rapes of girls by the maniac Ivan Panchenko in Svetlograd, a rape and murder of an underage priest’s daughter in Blagodarny. In 2012, the most public response was evoked by criminal cases against former city-manager of Stavropol I. Bestuzhy and V. Ambartsumov, a pedophile from Pyatigorsk. In such cases we realize that on the speed and quality of the investigation depends not only the faith of participants of legal proceedings, but calmness of all people in the region.
- By the way, why sometimes in high-profile cases does it take so much time from the start of the case to its review in the court? The investigation of the Bestuzhy case was extended several times. And in the so called Kalugin case, where a person was killed in the traffic accident, there is still no accused…
- Extension of the time for preliminary investigation for 15 months in the criminal case against I Bestuzhy has its reasons: it was the time taken by investigators to gather necessary evidence in all three episodes of his criminal activity. It was necessary to study all the documents signed by Bestuzhev during his office as head of Stavropol administration. By the way, the investigator had to take part in all 30 trials considering Bestuzhy and his 5 defenders’ complaints. All decisions and actions of the investigators the court recognized as legal and grounded. A month ago Bestuzhy and all his lawyers received all 38 volumes of the case to study. As soon as they are finished with studying the files, the criminal case with the indictment will be sent to the prosecutor’s office and then to court.
As for the Kalugin case – the traffic accident killing a pedestrian – with the purpose of finding the responsible person as quick as possible, I gave the case to the department of especially important cases. So far there have been more than 30 investigating and other operations carried out to find the circumstances of the traffic accident. Technical and DNA tests were assigned, which can be run only outside our region. We’ll be able to qualify Valery Kalugin’s actions only after we get the experts’ conclusions.
- Who is there more among criminals – men or women? Is there any difference in their behavior, motivation?
- There are more men among criminals, and that is characteristic of both the whole country and our region. I can name numbers: last year we prosecuted more than 1,500 men and 393 women. But there is a special feature we noted: in practice of our directorate there is not a case where a man would have killed his small child. But women… They frequently kill their own children. For example, in Zelenokumsk a young woman being drunk strangled her 18-month-old son with a kitchen towel. We later found that that day she had got quarreled with her husband and the boy had disturbed her with his crying and whims. In general, as a rule, all violent crimes are committed by women in family and domestic atmosphere. Their victims are usually husbands, boyfriends, children, relatives.
- Going back to the subject of criminal encroachments on minors, I would like to know: what measures does your agency take to minimize such facts?
- Unfortunately the investigating practice show that the number of the said crimes is growing. In 2012, our investigators opened more than 300 criminal cases over crimes committed against children. 32 underage children were killed, this is twice as many as in 2011. In addition, I cannot but mentioned a very unpleasant tendency: a dominant part of crimes (over 60%) committed against children are sex crimes.
We actively cooperate with state and municipal authorities and other interested structures. This work is being done as part of implementing the Law of Stavropol Territory “On additional guarantees of rights of underage recognized as victims under the criminal proceedings” which is aimed at providing underage victims free psychological and legal assistance at the expense of the territorial budget. For more than three years already we closely cooperate with the children’s ombudsman of Governor of Stavropol Territory.
We addressed the Governor offers to discuss within the constant coordination meeting on ensuring law and order in Stavropol Territory a subject of setting up regional monitoring center for helping missing children and victims of crimes.
In addition a project of joint with the investigations directorate agreement on children’s rights and interests in Stavropol Territory has been sent to the Governor.
- As you have said before one of the priority areas of activity of your directorate is prevention and solving acts of corruption. Officials of what spheres are more often to be exposed?
- On 2012, our investigators opened 340 criminal cases over corruption crimes, which is almost quadruple numbers of 2011. Most of them are over bribery. The most of corruption crimes were committed in law enforcement and budget spheres as well as in public healthcare, social provision and education.
- Your agency is getting more new categories of crimes in its jurisdiction. Do your personnel cope with the growing workload?
- Last year our investigators investigated more than 4,100 criminal cases, which is almost a third more than in 2011. More than 1,800 cases against 1,900 accused were forwarded to court. Of course, reforming a whole state agency is not easy at all. It is important not only not to decrease the level of investigating work, but to increase its efficiency. These are these guidelines at which main efforts of all staff of the investigations directorate are aimed. And we will manage the tasks!
Governor Valery Zerenkov congratulated the staff of the agency on the second anniversary. The telegrams addressed to Chairman of the Investigative Committee Alexander Bastrykin, Head of North Caucasian Federal District Main Investigations Directorate Boris Karnaukhov and Head of Stavropol Territory Investigations Directorate Sergey Duprovin read: “High professionalism and rich experience of staff of Investigative Committee provide considerable contribution in development of Russian and all its regions. Let your service continue be a reliable guarantee of efficient work of law and protection of citizens’ rights!”
On behalf of deputies the words of thanks were addressed by Yuri Bely, Chairman of Stavropol Territory Duma. He noted that “Stavropol Territory managed in a short time to build a team of highly-qualified investigators, who treat their duty with responsibility, are loyal to it and approach competently to the most difficult tasks”.