Since December 2005 a citizen of Orsk Ms. Valentina F. with support of the NN Committee Against Torture has been trying to initiate a criminal case against unlawful, in her opinion, decision of placing her in a psychiatric clinic. Throughout this time prosecution investigators has three times unlawfully adopted a decision not to open a criminal case. In each instance we learned about the decision after the matter had been brought before a court. So it was the fourth time. In the course of the proceedings in court, investigator Vladimir Chubenko submitted that he had informed Ms. F. about the decision but he did not remember whether he had done it through the secretary or had sent a letter by himself. The court examined the book of outgoing correspondence of the Prosecutor’s Office of Oktyabrsky where was no information that something had been sent to the applicant.
It should be mentioned that before bringing the matter before a court, Ms. F. had complained to district prosecutor Valentin Polivko, but he had forwarded the complaint to his deputy Andrey Erastov and the extent of the inquiry was limited to a formal reply, without examining the matter on the merits.
The Rules for record-keeping were established by an Order of the General Prosecutor and they are very strict. However district prosecutors’ offices very often ignore this Order. Lawyers of the NN Committee Against Torture have many times drawn the attention of the Orenburg Regional Prosecutor’s office to the problem; still the situation is not changed for the better. The Book of outgoing documents is not stitched up, pages have no numbers, and the column “Date” has blanks, what allows filling them in post factum. When a citizen makes a complaint there appears an entry that the notification was forwarded, and if it is appealed there is a ready-made answer: the post office failed to deliver.
Complaints against the office work of the prosecution service are not just faults-finding. Very often the promptness of investigations, inquiries, considerations of citizens’ complaints, i.e. the whole range of activities of the prosecution service as a body which protects lawful rights and interests of citizens, depends on careful compliance with insignificant, at first sight, rules.
That is why the chaos in the office work, the inability and lack of will to comply with orders of the General Prosecutor, intrinsic to many prosecution officials at different levels, in fact seriously hinder in protecting rights and freedoms, and discredit the prosecution service in the eyes of people, disrupting their trust in the triumph of law on Russia.
The chaos in the office work of the prosecution service will bear the order of law compliance. The only question is “When?”