Interview by Yevgeny Dolgalyov, Head of Altai Territory Investigations Directorate of the Russia’s Investigative Committee to newspaper Svobodny Kurs

Head of Altai Territory Investigations Directorate of the Russia’s Investigative Committee tells about quality of investigation, natural selection and bribe-takers

Yevgeny Dolgalyov, Head of Altai Territory Investigations Directorate of the Russia’s Investigative Committee is a new person in our region: he arrived in Altai Territory only in August last year. Of course he has a degree in law, but according to him “the nature of work makes him go deep into very different subjects – from medicine to study of the strength of materials”.

Mr. Dolgalyov is probably a boss of new generation: he receives main news from Internet, talks with relatives by Skype and last year took courses on regular management.

The Investigative Committee turned two in January, but it is still adjusting its operation: there is reorganization underway in Altai Territory Investigations Directorate. What is the point? Mr. Dolgalyov answered this and other questions.

Golden file

- Mr. Dolgalyov, I understand that Investigative Committee is not a plant and labor productivity here is not the main factor of performance. But still quality of work cannot but be connected with the number of cases. What is the load per investigator?

- On the average one investigator has to investigate more than one case a month. More than one case is forwarded to the court. The average number throughout Russia is 1-1.2 cases. Unfortunately, more than 70% of working time is taken up by so called preliminary checks. Under the law, in most cases, when we receive an application from a citizen or an organization, we are obliged to register it and check though it is frequently obvious that there are no prospects of launching criminal proceedings. In practice the case is launched over one of six-seven appeals.

- May it be connected with the fact that operative agents for the appearance’s sake pile you with facts?

- No, maybe sometimes, but in most cases the appeals are honest. Unfortunately the law is the law and we can’t say: “Sorry there is no ground for registration”.

- But negative result is still a result…

- Imagine that there is a plant manufacturing files only 30% of time and the remaining time does something which will definitely go to dump, but used the same machines and people. Do you think such a plant efficient? And how much will such a file cost?

It’s not about bars

- If we talk about quality of investigation, which mark out of ten would you give investigators of the territory?

- I think five, though my mark can be biased, because it is about my work too. There are official indices of work efficiency and according to them we are in the middle. But we want to be much higher and we will try.

- Can you remember cases when the criminal proceedings were launched without grounds and the citizen filed actions to court and exacted compensation from the Ministry of Finance?

- There are such cases. If we admit that a person was unreasonably prosecuted, the law provides for the procedure of rehabilitation. We admit the citizen’s right to rehabilitation, explain them their rights, after which basically hold their hand and say what can be done. Of course, the citizen can go to court and we take part in those legal proceedings, usually as a third party. Unfortunately, it is unavoidable, but we try to make this happen as less as possible.

- Which role in such cases belongs to the so called “bar system” – assessment of investigators’ activity by the number of cases?

- A very small role. First of all, there is prosecutor’s supervision. We pass the resolution on starting criminal proceedings to the prosecutor and if they have even slightest doubts they request the materials and can call of the case. Secondly, the person, against whom the case was groundlessly initiated, can go to court to abolish this resolution. Because of these limitations the chase for appearance’s sake is impossible.

- How do you select specialists in your system?

- We have almost Darwin natural selection: only strongest survive. To manage the work load the investigator has to work from 8 AM to 9 PM without weekends – at weekends they may leave work a bit earlier. This is a great mental and physical tension. Moreover, the wages for the beginning investigators in the first year of the service are 20-23 thousand rubles.

- A number of media have reported that this year bonuses for special conditions of service for investigators would be increased considerably.

- State Duma had not time to pass this bill in three readings. But there will be an increase and it is necessary: investigators in the police earn two times as much as investigators in the Investigative Committee. And we need it not only because we want more money, but from the point of view of efficiency of the agency and keeping personnel. About 80% of investigators work less than two years and then leave.

- Judges, when retire, receive 80% of their wages to the end of their lives. What about investigators?

- If I for some reason, God forbids, retired now, my pension would be about 30 thousand rubles.

Synergetic effect

- Recently they have been talking about setting up a single investigating body. When will it be established and what do you think about it?

- I take a positive view of it. But there are not official documents concerning the subject yet. If there is a command we will carry out.

- Are there arguments of jurisdiction with the Interior Main Office or other investigating organizations?

- They are extremely rare: we have nothing to quarrel about, everything is provided by the laws. The question of creating a single investigating body is ripe maybe from the point of view of logistics and optimization of corporate processes. It is much easier to keep one structure as an administrative apparatus, which is a superstructure without which the system cannot function, is created for each structure. If the superstructure is eliminated, there is a synergetic effect.

- Investigations directorate is already reorganizing today. How?

- We are planning to optimize information flows and separate specializations in the department of especially important cases. Today the department investigates all such cases. We put a task to set up three departments: one will be specialized in rapes, the second – in crimes against state authority (corruption and that kind) and the third – in economic and tax crimes. In other regions such structure has already proved efficient.

- How well the investigating bodies are equipped with technical means?

- We have 99.9 % of necessary equipment (I leave a slight gap not to be nailed down): we have office equipment, recording devices (audio, video and photo equipment) and so on. We have standards: a certain number of computers for a certain number of people. If we submit reasonable request, then it is granted: we receive either equipment or funds to purchase it.

- Is there equipment which 10 year ago was just a dream?

- Today investigating bodies have opportunity to receive results of genoscopy – the special laboratories have such equipment. Genoscopy allows almost 100% identifying the man by biological samples – blood, saliva and others – left at a crime scene. its results represent cogent evidence.

Absolutely inadmissible

- How are investigations against Mikhail Klyuchnikov, ex-head of forest office and Nina Matrynova, mayor of Yarovoy going?

- Mikhail Klyuchnikov is charged with a crime under part 1 of article 286 of the RF Criminal Code (exceeding official powers) and together with his defender he is studying the files. After he has finished, we will forward the materials to the prosecutor. The case against the head of Yarovoy administration is under investigation and it’s too early to comment on that.

I can add that today decisions to launch criminal cases and investigate them are made by the Investigations Directorate and not by territorial investigations departments. Prosecution of heads can have negative effect on the activity of the municipality so such cases should be investigated as quickly as possible and the most competent investigators work in the Investigations Directorate. In addition, there is a rational necessity to avoid any event the most potential chance of pressure on investigators on site.

- Subjects of many cases over corruption are doctors and teachers. It is not good to take money for giving a sick list to a healthy person. But a doctor who was found to be a bribe-taker and has no longer right to treat people more often makes people pity them than hate. Will such people keep on being exposed to the fullest extent of the law?

- There is one law for everybody. And if we receive materials on the teacher we are obliged to qualify it in accordance with the law. I don’t understand why it is normal to give a bribe to a doctor or a teacher. Domestic corruption is absolutely inadmissible.

- Investigative Committee can now investigate crimes committed by children and against children. Were there cases at which you personally were shocked?

- Everything concerning children is a priority – this is the position of the Committee’s Chairman. When I hear reports about what happened during the day in our territory, the first thing I ask is if there were any incidents involving children. Such crimes are taken under personal control, we inform Moscow about them, and we organize the work very carefully – we make everything to quickly and efficiently solve such crimes. I am used to everything, but children’s dead bodies are still shocking… But we not only investigate crimes connected with children, but support children’s homes, help them.

Rapid-fire questions

- Do officials, deputies or governors press you in any way?

- No, there were no such cases, and I hope there won’t be.

- How do you address each other in the Investigative Committee: Mister or Comrade?

- It depends on the situation, both are used.

- What and where did you learn last?

- In November I took a two-week course on regular management in Moscow.

- You were appointed for two years. Why such a short period?

- I have no right to comment on this decision. I can only say that all the heads of investigations directorates were appointed for two years.

- How did you resolve your dwelling problem?

- A month after my arrival in the territory the Directorate got funds, concluded a state contract and bought me a flat. The flat is only for the head of the Directorate, and if in two years there will be a new head, I will have to move out.

- Do you like detective stories?

- I used to, but not anymore. I have read Agatha Christie, but not much, and Bushkov – he has a light style.

- Do you monitor news in the Internet?

- Yes, and read altapress.ru. As a rule I learn new from the Internet, not on TV.

- What do you think about negative commentaries in the Internet?

- I was shocked at the comments in 2002, now I stay calm.

- What would you like to wish your colleagues and subordinates?

- More professionalism. Higher salaries. And at least one day off a week.

Additional information

Yevgenny Gennadyevich Dolganov was form in Omsk in 1968. having served three years in the army (at Baltic Navy), joined law faculty at Omsk State University, but after the third year there transferred to a correspondence department and started working in prosecutor’s office. Had a degree with honors. From 1992 he served as an investigator at the prosecutor’s office of Oktyabrsky district in Omsk, senior prosecutor’s assistant, deputy head of department of especially important cases, head of methodological and forensic department of the regional prosecutor’s office. From 2007 took office of first deputy head of the Omsk Region Investigations Directorate of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation Prosecutor’s Office. From 2011 was first deputy head the Omsk Region Investigations Directorate of the Russia’s Investigative Committee. In 2012 was appointed head of Altai Territory Investigations Directorate. Mr. Dolganov is married, has two children. His son, 22 (a lawyer), started working as an investigator at the Omsk Region Investigations Directorate. His daughter is 2 years old.

Fact

Over 11 months of 2012, the Investigations Directorate of the Investigative Committee finished investigating 1,704 cases, 1,500 of them were transferred to court, the rest were discontinued. The Altai Territory Investigations Directorate of the Russia’s Investigative Committee has 345 employees.