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THE PROSECUTOR GENERAL’S OFFICE SCORED ANOTHER BUREAUCRATIC VICTORY IN ITS WAR WITH THE INVESTIGATION COMMITTEE

The Prosecutor General’s Office scored another victory against the Investigation Committee.


The Prosecutor General’s Office scored another victory against colleagues from the Investigation Committee. The Supreme Court considered its complaint and voided verdicts of the Tver District Court of Moscow and Moscow Municipal Court passed a year ago. The verdicts in question annulled the previous decision to fire from the prosecutor’s office one Anatoly Bagmet, currently Chief of the Moscow Division of the Investigation Committee.

Essentially a dispute between a state official and his superiors, the case of Bagmet is anything but. Considering the strained relations between upper echelons of the Prosecutor General’s Office and Investigation Committee, the matter is of paramount importance for all of the law enforcement framework. Moreover, the case of Bagmet may have far-reaching consequences both bureaucratic and procedural.

Judging by the weighed opinion of the Supreme Court, Bagmet was fired in the first place for valid reasons and on legal grounds. This conclusion makes his promotion to the current job with the Investigation Committee unlawful. In theory at least, it means that Bagmet’s performance has been unlawful too.

The situation this collision may foment will be both unprecedented and absurd. Formally, the latest developments offer an excuse to void all documents Bagmet endorsed and signed in his capacity of chief of the Moscow Division of the Investigation Committee. Importance of consequences of this decision cannot be overestimated. By and large, the matter concerns legitimacy of the investigations Bagmet was involved in and that means literally thousands criminal cases.

We can only make guesses on who may want it to happen or what for. Chronicle of the conflict between the Prosecutor General’s Office and Investigation Committee meanwhile leads to the conclusion that nobody in their upper echelons ever happened to think of this aspect at all. Most probably, it is but an aftereffect of the rivalry between the two structures.

The Investigation Committee was established in September 2007 in the wake of a posthaste reorganization of the Prosecutor General’s Office. That the latter would take it bad could be predicted and should have been predicted. But the Investigation Committee was established all the same and the Prosecutor General’s Office immediately concentrated on finding faults with its newly-hatched rival. Things went so bad that top officials of the two structures met in courtrooms in an attempt to prove which of them carried more weight. As for men like Bagmet… they come and go. Bagmet was not the first. Neither will he be the last.

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