On March 13, 2018, Alexander Bastrykin, the Chairman of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation, held a series of meetings with representatives of relative authorities in Damascus during his working visit to the Syrian Arab Republic.
Alexander Bastrykin met with Ali Mamlouk, the Division General and Director of the National Security Bureau of Syria. The parties discussed issues of investigation into offences of terrorist nature and offences against Russian military personnel committed in Syria.
A separate attention was paid to terrorists that obtain combat experience in the countries of the Middle East and return to Russia and Europe to prepare and commit terroristic acts, promote radical Islam ideas, and recruit new members. At that, the parties noted that, in recent years, more young people become involved in illegal armed formations and terrorist groups through social networks using advanced telecommunication technologies. With reference to that, it is necessary to pay attention to the young people at the state level, to bring them up in terms of patriotism, traditional and moral values, and to provide them with occupations (education, sports clubs, interest clubs, etc.).
During the meeting of the Chairman of the Investigative Committee with Hisham al-Shaar, the Minister for Justice of the Syrian Arab Republic, and Tajsir as-Samadi, the Deputy Minister for Justice and the Chairman of the Committee on Recording of Terrorist Crimes, the parties discussed mechanisms of practical interaction on the basis of the competence of the authorities. Following the negotiations, the parties signed a Cooperation Protocol between the Investigative Committee of Russia and the Ministry of Justice of the Syrian Arab Republic. The said document provides for interaction of the parties in the form of assistance in investigation into offences committed in the territory of Syrian Arab Republic against Russian citizens including military and civilian personnel and their families; information exchange on terrorist operatives that return to the Russian Federation having obtained combat experience in Syria and Iraq; information exchange on Russian women and children present in the territory of Syria; exchange of experience of investigation into crimes involving terrorism and extremism and other crimes posing major threats to the society including those committed by transnational organized groups. The parties noted that interaction under this Protocol will provide for a rapid decision-making in investigation of crimes of listed categories.
During these meetings Alexander Bastrykin thanked the relevant Syrian authorities for their full cooperation with Russian investigation and underlined that joint efforts help to build a significant evidentiary base and prosecute specific individuals for the offences they have committed. The Chairman of the Investigative Committee expressed hope for future development of cooperation with Syrian colleagues in the same positive manner and for Syrian law enforcement authorities’ assistance in securing of investigations proceeding in the Syrian territory. In conclusion of the meeting, Alexander Bastrykin invited Minister for Justice of Syria Hisham al-Shaar to visit the Russian Federation to learn about the organization of work of investigative units of the Investigative Committee of Russia and to visit educational institutions of the Committee.
In the afternoon, Alexander Bastrykin visited the Russian air base in Khmeimim to hold a briefing with investigators of the Investigative Committee of Russia.
In particular, he listened to a report on investigation progress into the crash of Russian An-26 aircraft currently investigated by military investigations units of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation.
The Chairman of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation was also reported about joint work of Russian investigators and Syrian relative authorities on establishing all circumstances of offences committed in the Syrian Arab Republic against Russian military personnel (murder of Russian pilot Oleg Peshkov, mortar attack of mobile military hospital of Russian Air Force in Aleppo, and other offences).
It was specially noted that being located in the territory of Syria and acting in the context of armed conflict investigators of the Russian investigative conflict successfully perform investigative and other procedural activities under the said probes in close cooperation with Syrian authorities in strict compliance with national criminal and procedural legislation and international law.
During this visit Alexander Bastrykin met with the Joint Force Commanders of Russian Air Force in Syrian Arab Republic.
Investigators and Russian military officers showing special distinction were awarded medals and valuable gifts from the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation. The award ceremony was held in Khmeimim Air Base in a solemn setting.
Official spokesperson for the Investigative Committee of Russia S. Petrenko