Investigative Committee to operate in its present form under Bastrykin leadership

Investigative Committee to operate in its present form under Bastrykin leadership
Head of the Investigative Committee of Russia Alexander Bastrykin

The Head of the Investigative Committee of Russia is back from vacation earlier than expected. More previously, several sources within the government department and beyond reported that Bastrykin could get fired and the Investigative Committee be dissolved.

According to Rosbalt news agency, the Head of the Investigative Committee of Russia Alexander Bastrykin is back from vacation earlier than required. The vacation was expected to last till October 2018. According to several sources of the news agency, despite rumors of its possible dissolution, the Investigation Committee will continue to operate in its present form and remain under the same leadership. However, it is also expected that the Prosecutor General’s Office is going to obtain ancillary powers to supervise the organization of its activities shortly.

An interviewed by Rosbalt said that earlier, the Investigative Committee “was reportedly pessimistic” about its future. Bastrykin could be dismissed after the vacation, and the Investigative Committee could be dissolved. However, having celebrated his 65 birthday on August 27, the Head of the Investigative Committee went back to work - in particular, went on several business trips around the North Caucasus. The executives of the government department were reported that Bastrykin’s mandate is extended. According to Rosbalt sources, the Head of the Investigative Committee met the president of Russia Vladimir Putin while on leave. Soon after, any doubts as to the future of the Investigative Committee were put to rest. An interviewed by Rosbalt who is familiar with the situation said that their conversation took place during Joseph Kobzon’s commemoration ceremonies.

The Investigative Committee’s employees were also told that the Committee would continue to operate in its present form and no changes in its structure are envisaged in the short term. However, it is expected that some pieces of legislation will be adopted until the end of 2018 which is going to broaden the mandate of the Prosecutor General’s Office as to supervision of the organization of the Investigative Committee’s activities.

This summer, it was not quite clear in what form the Investigative Committee is going to continue to operate and whether it is going to be dissolved. Various possible reforms were being discussed including a proposal to establish a single investigation body with Russia’s MIA investigators and other departments to join it. Returning the Investigative Committee to the Prosecutor General’s Office supervision was the most realistic option.

In February 2018, this topic was even raised by Vladimir Putin at the Office of the Prosecutor General’s Office meeting. Then, he asked to “essentially strengthen oversight of the Committee at its all levels.” Soon after, the same topic was raised by Chairwoman of the Federation Council Valentina Matviyenko. Senators supported this idea.

An interviewed by Rosbalt said that the issues the Committee faced emerged due to internal tensions and corruption scandals: the arrest of the head of the Committee in Kemerovo region and Shakro Molodoy case that caused arrests of highest-ranked executives in the Committee in Moscow including Alexander Drymanov, former Head of the Investigative Committee's Moscow department.

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