Violations of the law is not a reason for punishment of the Mary El Investigative Committee investigators

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09 February 2016

Lawyers of Mary El branch of the Committee for Prevention of Torture state that the management of the Investigative Committee refuses to bring their subordinates to disciplinary responsibility for violations of the law – seven applications of human rights defenders, submitted to the head of the local Investigative Committee in 2015 with this request, remained, in essense, unheard. The last answer, received by human rights defenders, does not leave room for doubts about the principal stance of the management of the regional Investigative Committee not to punish its negligent subordinates – in future «such applications will not be reviewed».

In 2015 lawyers of the Committee for Prevention of Torture in the Republic of Mary El tried to bring to the attention of the Investigative Committee superiors numerous violations of the criminal procedure legislation and departamental orders. This relates to the investigators’ illegal refusals to initiate criminal proceedings or its dismissal, and refusal to perform checks of the crime reports, and systematic failure to notify the applicants on the decisions taken. In the end, it also about the untimely response of the investigative departments superiors to all of the listed facts…

It is worth noting that in all of the cases the unlawfulness of the investigators’ actions was acknowledged by the Prosecutor’s Office. Based on the results of the Prosecutor’s response the lawyers of the Committee for Prevention of Torture applied to superiors of the regional Investigative Committee with the request to conduct an agency check in relation to investigators who breached the law and bring them to disciplinary responsibility. 

However, not a single application from us was satisfied, and the investigative authorities continue to stubbornly ignore the provisions of the Federal laws, departamental orders, thus violating the constitutional rights of the citizens. 

At first we were receiving the following answers: «Drawbacks related to untimely organization of the procedural check were reviewed at the daily briefing with the head of the investigative department for Yoshkar-Ola city». Later came even a more vague wording: «The violations of the applicable criminal procedural legislation by the investigative unit officials have been examined and the response measures are taken». However, in all the cases it was added that there were no grounds for bringing specific investigators to disciplinary responsibility.

Our correspondence with the republican Investigative Committee resulted in the answer of senior assistant of the Investigative Department of the Investigative Committee of the RF for the Mary El Republic Ms. Molotilova, in which she  unambiguously conveyed that she will not be dealing with such requests in future: «The procedure of conducting agency checks and applying measures of responsibility to the personnel is intradepartmental activity and relates to the competence of the head of the investigative department, due to that such applications will be left without examination».

Lawyer of the Committee for Prevention of Torture Dmitry Yalikov: «I would like to remind that in accordance with Federal law No.403 «On the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation», «if the Investigative Committee officer shows deficient performance or failure to perform his duties he is subjected to disciplinary penalty». I would like to point out that the Prosecutor’s Office revealed violations of the law in all of the facts in relation to which we applied to the Investigative Committee, however, it did not prevent the superiors of the local IC from issuing repeated refusals to satisfy our complaints and requests to bring the guilty investigators to disciplinary action. We have already appealed against the latest response from Ms.Molotilova, and we are also planning to apply to the head of the Investigative Committee of Russia Aleksandr Bastrykin».

«The Investigative Committee superiors’ ignoring the systematic violations of the law by their subordinates results in their repeated unlawful decisions, which we have to appeal against to the Prosecutor’s Office or to court all over and over again. Usually it leads to the situation when an investigator can issue dozens of unlawful rulings for one case alone, and these decisions violate the rights of the victims of crimes, – Yalikov emphasizes. – And this is another violation of the Russian Federation obligations, established by the decisions of the European Court of Human Rights and by international treaties. As a result, poor performance of the investigators and their superiors’ reluctance to punish them for that make us pay for all this, when we receive another ruling of the European Court of Human Rights where quite a large compensation is awarded to the an applicant for the inefficient work of the investigators».