President Putin: Good afternoon, dear colleagues,
In January 2004, at the concluding meeting of the General Prosecutor’s board we talked about the priorities for 2004. As you remember, we discussed tasks of primary importance, and also paths to modernise the prosecutor’s office in order to increase the effectiveness of work in the conditions of the new procedural status. An important issue was overcoming narrowly specialised departmental approaches in the work of the law-enforcement bodies, and increasing the coordinating role and functions of the prosecutor’s office.
I think that today we also need to analyse what has been fulfilled, and to make the necessary conclusions for the future. I expect that an open discussion like last year will also be held by us today.
As the previous period showed, the main task of prosecutors remains ensuring supremacy of the law and constantly observing it. And above all in the sphere of protecting citizens’ rights, their security and the legitimate interests of the state and society.
Just as they were a year ago, important areas of work remain opposing terrorism and extremism, fighting organised crime and the drug threat, and protecting the business environment from criminal and corruption pressure.
It is clear that the General Prosecutor’s office, as the coordinating centre, has the authority and the necessary resources to ensure efficient interaction of all elements of the law-enforcement system. I must stress right away that society’s trust in your work and the law-enforcement bodies as a whole depends a great deal on the success of solving this system task.
As you know, an entire series of terrorist acts organised and carried out last year by international criminal groups showed the necessity for serious reorganisation of state activity in the security sphere. And citizens of our country, citizens of Russia, expect specific actions from the authorities, both in detecting and punishing criminals, and in organising effective protection of their rights to a safe life.
Today it is not only strategically necessary to effectively oppose acts of terror themselves, but also to establish a system of prediction and analysis work, and act in advance. It is necessary to detect areas where potential conflict situations arise which are used by the ideologists of terrorism and extremism to inflame national and religious discord.
We must be especially thorough in criminal prosecution of individuals, including those abroad, who are involved in terrorist acts and in organising them. We must do this strictly observing the norms of criminal and procedural legislation, correctly using international law.
The war on drugs is one of the priorities today. We must admit that number of crimes connected with the circulation and use of drugs continues to grow.
At the same time, the rate of finding drug dealers and bringing them to justice still remains extremely low. I know that there are positive improvements in this area, especially after the formation of a special body to fight drugs, but there are still more problems than there are solutions.
I must say that not everywhere have prosecutors in the regions been able to carry out prosecutor supervision and investigation in tasks of preventing and fighting this dangerous crime.
We need to make higher demands on the actual quality of investigative and supervisory actions of the prosecutor’s office on drug crimes. This fully applies to investigative work on latent crimes connected with the laundering of shadow capital, bribe-taking and abuse of official positions.
A key area in the action of the prosecutor’s bodies – from the General Prosecutor’s office to regional prosecutor’s offices – remains protecting the rights and freedoms of citizens of the Russian Federation.
Many complaints continue to be filed against employers not observing labour legislation. These violations account for around 60% of the total number of violations in the social sphere.
It is your direct obligation to react to them immediately. And if necessary, to press both administrative and criminal charges against those responsible.
It is also necessary to increase supervision of the implementation of legislation in the Russian Armed Forces. Constant control is needed in realisation of social guarantees for soldiers, and preservation of military property and funds allocated to defence.
Particular attention should be given to realisation of the mortgage system legislation for providing soldiers with housing.
On the whole, work must be continued on developing the legislative base, both at a federal and regional level. The prosecutor’s office must state its own position on all projects linked with opposing crime, ensuring national security and protecting the interests of citizens.
A clear positive example in this sense in monitoring the application of the Criminal and procedural code passed in 2001. As a result of joint work by several ministries, three federal laws were prepared and passed, removing the gaps, internal contradictions and ambiguous interpretations of individual statutes of the Codex.
In conclusion, I would like to stress that today almost half of the prosecutor’s office body are young people, aged up to 30. And it is extremely important to create conditions for their secure position and professional growth.
Young prosecutors have a good example to emulate. At all times, the best prosecutors stood out for their impartiality, objectivity, and honest service to Law and Duty. And I am certain that these principles remain correct guidelines for current and future generations of your colleagues.
The prosecutor’s office embodies the power and justice of the state. It is one of the most mightyl and influential sections of our law-enforcement system. You have been entrusted with supervising the observation of the Constitution, and execution of the law throughout the entire territory of our country.
I am sure that you well understand that the approaches and practice of the work of the prosecutor’s office must fully match the nature of modern challenges and threats, and be adequate to all national tasks faced by Russia, and which are solved by our people.
Thank you very much for your attention.