Chairman of Investigative Committee of Russia discusses issues of countering corruption with colleagues from Belarus

Today, on the basis of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation, Alexander Bastrykin held a working meeting with Ivan Noskevich, the Chairman of the Investigative Committee of the Republic of Belarus, on issues of preventing and countering corruption.

The event was also attended by Igor Krasnov, Vice-Chairman of the Investigative Committee of Russia; Head of the Main Forensics Directorate of Investigative Committee of Russia; other chiefs of departments of the Central Office of the Investigative Committee of Russia; Mikhail Vavulo, the Head of International Legal Department of the Investigative Department of the Republic of Belarus; and Yury Kamenetsky, a special investigator of Directorate on Analysis of Practise and Preliminary Investigation Security Policy of the Central Office of the Investigative Committee of the Republic of Belarus.

The representatives of the two agencies met to discuss a number of relevant collaboration questions in part of countering corruption in the light of available experience of mutual legal assistance in criminal investigation.

Prior to the meeting, the heads of the investigative agencies of the two countries could not stay away from discussing the FIFA World Championship that had finished a day before. Ivan Noskevich, the Chairman of the Investigative Committee of the Republic of Belarus, acknowledged the Russian effort in organization of the tournament and underlined that he had carefully watched every football game.

In his welcoming speech, Alexander Bastrykin expressed his appreciation to Ivan Noskevich for the opportunity to discuss activities of the Investigative Committees of Russia and Belarus once again. During discussion of the agenda, the Chairman of the Investigative Committee of Russia noted that “Illegal activity such as corruption undermines the basis of effective functioning of the State and its institutions, progressive development of civil society, sustained improvement of living standards and well-being of the population.”

Alexander Bastrykin noted that a significant part of corruption offences were reported by internal affairs agencies and Federal Security Service as a result of search operations, which proved a high level of latency of such offences.

The Head of the Committee listed several reasons for investigation into corruption offences to exceed the two-months’ time limit set by criminal procedural legislation. They included: multiple episodes; complexity of development of evidence base consisting of a large amount of documents of evidentiary importance subject to examination; necessity of a large amount of investigative activities.

The Chairman of the Investigative Committee of Russia highlighted the importance of interaction between investigators and agencies that performed search activities and assisted probes investigated by the Investigative Committee of Russia. “Timely exchange of valuable information not only facilitates obtaining of new evidence, but also helps to suppress activities aimed at hiding and destructing of evidence of crimes, and to avoid witness and victims tampering in order to force them to revise their statements. Comprehensive measures are implemented in forming operational investigative units in order to optimize their performance and integrate joint efforts in investigation of probes of the category in question.”

Along with that, Alexander Bastrykin specially underlined the great importance of international cooperation with relative authorities of foreign countries in the fight against offences involving corruption. “This relates not only to cases where we need assistance of our foreign colleagues to obtain evidence base within other countries. International cooperation is also important in terms of exchange of experience of criminal proceedings against offences involving corruption and development of regulatory framework in anti-corruption field,” he added.

His Belarus colleague Ivan Noskevich supported the Chairman of the Russian Investigative Committee and underlined that he highly appreciated the collaboration with the host party, including that in terms of a well-established trilateral format of meetings of the Investigative Committees of Russia, Belarus and Armenia. “Alexander Lukashenko, the President of the Republic of Belarus, has already noted the high level of interaction between our structures. A meaningful dialogue, effective cooperation, and exchange of experience of investigative bodies of the two countries certainly contribute to development of our methods of work,” Ivan Noskevich stated.

The meeting agenda also included reports of other participants. Representatives of both Committees commended the results of the meeting and its practical benefits. Parties agreed that such events would facilitate the most effective improvement of pre-trial criminal proceedings in terms of Investigative Committees’ activities.

Official spokesperson for the Investigative Committee of Russia S. Petrenko