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Vesti.ru, April 24, 2003

The security services know who ordered the crime and killers, but cannot find them

By Svetlana Listopadova

State Duma deputies listened to the report of the heads of the securities agencies on progress with investigations of highly public crimes - murders of politicians, businessmen, deputies and journalist proceeds. According to a member of the Security Committee of the State Duma Valeri Ostanin, the report of the heads of security structures was simply a formality.

The Public Prosecutor General began his speech with small details on each murder: the type of gun used, how the individual was killed. He even mentioned the factory serial number of the weapon and virtually provided a full report of medical and criminal checks, noted Ostanin. “But everyone was bewildered by his statement that apparently up 98% of such murders are solved, even the most public ones. It transpired that all the people responsible for these killings have been identified and are even been sought intensely. For example they have been looking for the killers of Galina Starovoitova, and the names of the killers were known already on the day after the crime. Director of the Federal Security Service Nikolai Patrushev went even further- he even provided the addresses of some of the killers. In addition, in his comments on the murder of Galina Starovoitova he admitted that this murder was purely political and that there were no personal connotations or links to any entrepreneurial or other economic activity of the diseased. This is an exception: in general our security ministries tend to accord every ordered murder a financial motive. Thus, they let society know that another victim of ordered murder participated in some financial intrigues. In this case why bother finding the perpetrators of a murder on someone who deserved such a punishment?

All attempts to reduce the murders to personal motives, crimes of vengeance or financial factors have also been undertaken regarding the murder of Sergei Yushenkov. The main question as to why the people behind the crime and the actual killers have not been caught remained unanswered."

State Secretary Vladimir Vasiliyev reported to the Duma on behalf of the Interior Ministry. Ostanin also noted that the State-Secretary referred to the well-known problems of the militia, poor technical equipment, high staff turnover and fuel restrictions. Ostanin added: At the meeting of our Committee we already spoke about the militia’s spending of budget funds. We said that all the funds allotted to militia are spent not on their declared purposes, but rather on the purchase of expensive foreign-made cars and carpets for generals' cars, darkening of windows and mobile telephones, state dachas and state flats. In view of these circumstances, how are we meant to react to the declarations of the heads of the Interior Ministry?"

Valeri Ostanin also noted that the meeting of the Duma took place in a closed regime, even though there were no secrets that had to be hidden from the public. "People should see their 'heroes' in person. If murders of deputies are investigated in this way, what can the general public hope for? We in the Duma once again saw an example of a complete lack of professionalism."

Ostanin also stated the main reason for the current situation – the corruption endemic in the law and enforcement agencies. Everyone knows the size of the bribes that are taken for appointment to posts in the law and enforcement agencies and the bribes paid to close or open a criminal investigation to influence competitors. Even statistics are bought and sold to enable an official to successfully report the results of his work. Ostanin stressed: "Restructuring will not yield any perform results, if there is no serious shake-out of these structures and serious staff changes. However, the Duma adopted a formal toothless resolution that is not binding on anyone. We have only to hope that the head of the state will finally adopt measures and will duly ask those subordinate to him to do their jobs and will make conclusions on whether they are suitable for their jobs or not."


See also:

Liberal Russia's Yushenkov Shot Dead

Vesti.ru, April 24, 2003

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