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President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr Bastrykin, it has been two years since the Investigative Committee was made into an independent agency. This time was used for the development of the system.
Naturally, there has been a lot of controversy about specific cases and the agency’s work in general, but that is as it should be. I would like to note right away that I think the decision to establish the Investigative Committee as an independent agency was absolutely right and justified.
Investigators are working with dedication and great professionalism, and are achieving significant results. However, there are also problems, as in any big undertaking. You are aware of them and I hope that in the future you will do everything in your power to improve the tools and mechanisms, and do everything possible to protect the interests of the state and legitimate rights and interests of Russian citizens.
Chairman of The Investigative Committee Alexander Bastrykin: Thank you, Mr President, for your commendation.
”The decision to establish the Investigative Committee as an independent agency was absolutely right and justified. Investigators are working with dedication and great professionalism, and are achieving significant results.“
Indeed, the past two years have shown that the decision [on the establishment of the Investigative Committee] was absolutely correct.
Today we held a board meeting on the results of our work last year, where we noted some achievements in the main areas of our work, such as the clear-up rate, the organisation of forensic services and interaction with operational units in the Interior Ministry and the Federal Security Service.
At the same time, as you rightly pointed out, there are some problem areas. We had a fundamental discussion on these issues today and decided on ways to tackle them, so we are confident that the tasks you have set for our agency will be successfully implemented.
Vladimir Putin: I would like to draw your attention to one more point: you must not distance yourself from society; it is vital to listen to public opinion – in fact, that is how you organise the agency’s work, but I want to ask you to pay particular attention to this.
Naturally, the investigating authorities must operate solely within the bounds of the law. However, the Investigative Committee must not work in isolation; it must establish a direct connection with the public, with civil society, stay in constant contact and be able to account for its actions properly and promptly, and listen to the people and the public opinion.