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Lukashenko to meet with Belarusian law enforcement soon

Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko received a report of Chairman of the Investigation Committee Ivan Noskevich on 13 August, BelTA informs.

The head of state asked about the performance of the Investigation Committee in 2019 and about the investigation of notable criminal cases. “If you want to draw my attention to certain things, I will listen to you. But the most important criminal cases, including those I am keeping an eye on, are a priority. If these cases have already been in court, I will listen to your remarks concerning the performance of courts. I want to know because the president is directly in charge of the judicial branch,” Aleksandr Lukashenko emphasized.

“Plans have been made to meet with Belarusian law informant in the near future, maybe, next week, to discuss topical issues,” the president said. At the session the president wants to focus on the investigation of certain criminal cases. He cited the investigation of a case against the chief engineer of Minsk Wheel Tractor Plant [MZKT trademark] as an example.

“Investigative activities lasted for more than four years. I don't understand how it is possible to apprehend a person, place him in a pretrial detention center (not even in prison, in a pretrial detention center, the difference is clear) and keep him there for four years,” the head of state said. “It is not okay. People deserve normal attitude.”

Chairman of the Investigation Committee Ivan Noskevich told reporters after the meeting with the president that the session with law enforcement will focus on criminal cases where the rights and legal interests of citizens were affected. Speaking about the case against the chief engineer of MZKT, Ivan Noskevich said that investigators prepared an evidence report, prosecutors agreed with the position of investigators and sent the case to court. The judge directed a verdict of acquittal.

“This is an ordinary situation. We live in a state governed by the rule of law where courts are independent from other law enforcement bodies. Investigators and prosecutors decided that they had enough to prove guilt, while the court decided that the evidence is not enough,” Ivan Noskevich remarked. He said that the prosecutor's office appealed against the verdict, and appeal proceedings will begin in the near future.

The chairman of the Investigation Committee also remarked that the number of crimes increased by 8.3% in Belarus in January-July 2019 over the same period of the previous year. “More criminal cases were opened as a result,” he said.

In January-July, the number of crime incident reports increased by 4% over the same period of 2018. The number of criminal proceedings went up 12.3% from 75,000 to 84,200. The number of finished cases increased by 3.5%from 27,700 to 28,600. The number of convicted criminals went up 1.8% as against 2018.

Speaking about the efficiency of investigation, the number of rehabilitating decisions by courts, including those made at the pre-trial stage, remains at the same level. Such decisions have been made in relation to 30 defendants in 2019.

The number of cases returned for reinvestigation by prosecutors increased by 76 to 427 in 2019.

A half of criminal cases was finished within a month thanks to the measures to facilitate pre-trial procedures. The share of cases which were investigated for more than two months increased from 13.5% to 15.9%.