2019 bottom line: Prosecutor General’s Office summed up year’s results at the Collegium Meeting

Aleksandr Konyuk, Prosecutor General of the Republic of Belarus, chaired the Prosecutor General’s Office Collegium Meeting. The participants analyzed results of 2019 and set out tasks for 2020. 

This event was attended by Ivan Noskevich, Chair of the Investigative Committee of the Republic of Belarus, regional and Minsk City prosecutors, Head of the Scientific and Practical Centre for Problems of Reinforcing Law and Order of the Prosecutor General’s Office, Heads of Departments and Divisions of the Prosecutor General’s Office, their deputies and other employees. 

In his introductory speech Aleksandr Konyuk among other priorities once again mentioned such problematic issues as control over observation of citizens’ rights while conducting preliminary investigation and operational searching, as well as law enforcement in strategic sectors of economy. 

The major reports during the Collegium Meeting were delivered by: 

Aleksandr Lashin – on the results of prosecutorial supervision of law enforcement by state bodies and other organizations, ways for further development. 

Gennadiy Dysko – on current state of affairs and issues regarding the supervision of law enforcement by the Investigative Committee’s bodies. 

Nowadays the overall situation within the system of law and order can be summed up as follows: 

Crime situation 

The results of 2019 indicate a decrease in the number of felonies (-9.5%), homicides (-1.3%), property offences, including robberies (-8.9%) and thefts (-2.7%). 

Reported corruption-related offences went down by 4.3%, from 2,469 to 2,363. 

The implemented supervising and preventive measures contributed to a substantial reduction of offences in military formations – by 40%, from 270 to 162. 

Along with that, the total number of reported crimes went up by 5.4% as compared to that of 2018. There has been an increase in the number of deaths resulting from crimes in Vitebsk Oblast and Minsk City. 

Criminally punishable activities such as hooliganism grew by 17%, the number of thefts and juvenile delinquencies increased by 2.2% and 5% respectively. 

The number of crimes committed while intoxicated increased by 12.6%. 

Anti-corruption activity 

In 2019, to eliminate the violations of anti-corruption legislation revealed in the course of 744 inspections, the prosecutors handed in 683 reports, imposed 557 orders, lodged 154 protests, delivered 554 official warnings on unacceptability of repeated crimes and initiated 62 criminal cases involving offences against interests of the Service. 

2599 individuals were subject to disciplinary liability for the committed violations, 591 individuals – to administrative liability. 7 legal persons and 278 individuals bore material liability for more than 225 thousand rubles. 

Ungrounded brokering in procurement of goods (works and services), including cases based on corruption and collusion, is to be taken under stronger control. 

The Prosecutor General’s Office has already initiated the emendation of several normative legal acts, prepared a draft of the Law of the Republic of Belarus “On modification of anti-corruption laws”, elaborated Eligible Guidelines for implementation of anti-corruption activities in state bodies and organizations. 

The detection and elimination of public officials’ corruption risks when making decisions in construction, industrial and agricultural spheres, implementing administrative procedure or allocating land plots are still among the priorities. 

Supervision of law enforcement by state bodies and other organizations 

The prosecutors face the necessity to minimize challenges and threats to state economy, develop the practice of prevention and recovery of outstanding account receivables and liquidate “grey” export schemes. 

Last year, about 70 comprehensive inspections over law enforcement in foreign economic activity were conducted. Due to prosecutors’ efforts business turnover of enterprises was increased by 12 million rubles. 

In 2019, prosecutorial bodies managed to established cases of violation during the implementation of regional investment programs; evidence of budget irrational use and incompliance with normative deadlines for residential premises and public facility construction, absence of control over local executive and regulatory bodies in the above-mentioned spheres. 

Last year, about 750 prosecutorial investigations were conducted within the agro-industrial complex alone, thousands of violations of work disciplines and regulations were revealed. 550 lawsuits were filed, around 456 thousand rubles were recovered in damage resulting from thefts, cash shortage and loss of cattle. 

There are still problems connected to the increase of death toll (from 144 to 172) and severely injured industrial workers (from 700 to 718), multiplication of fires (from 6,102 to 6,133) and road accidents (from 3,348 to 3,510). 

There is a necessity to strengthen prosecutorial supervision of law enforcement with respect to transport and customs bodies. 

Last year, there was an increase by 41% (from 51 to 72) of cases connected to violation of road safety rules and rail transport use. 

The established cases of incompliance of legislations of the EAEU member states relating to the procedure and conditions of transfer of cultural valuables across the customs border came up as another problem, due to the fact that the foregoing created favorable conditions for illegal trafficking of several types of such valuables. 

The Prosecutor General’s Office introduced a range of vital modifications to the legislation that in their turn determined new directions in the implementation of children guardianship and custody functions, protection of socially-vulnerable children, control over healthcare quality and its evaluation. 

Supervision of law enforcement by bodies of inquiry 

The number of files returned for further investigation to bodies of inquiry by an Investigative Committee Division increased by 6.4% (from 3,166 to 2,964). 

Each fourth violation established by the prosecutors in the work of internal affairs bodies was connected to fraud. Speaking about which, 52% or 4,289 orders to dismiss criminal complaints out of 8,248 were denounced in the result of prosecutorial investigation, including, in regard to 33 claims criminal proceedings were commenced simultaneously with the denouncement. Additional inspections led to initiation of 262 criminal cases. 

Supervision of preliminary investigation bodies’ procedural activities 

All in all, the prosecutors managed to establish control over law enforcement by the Investigative Committee Divisions, as well as to secure citizens’ rights, state and public interests during the pre-trial procedure. 

There was the strengthening of prosecutorial control over legitimacy of the investigator’s procedural decisions to initiate or dismiss a criminal case, to terminate or suspend preliminary investigation. The number of such decisions, dismissed by prosecutors, increased. 

In 2019, out of 37,197 criminal cases scrupulously inspected and taken to the court by prosecutors, 744 were returned to investigators for further pre-trial procedures. 

However, there was a slight decrease in the efficiency of investigation as compared to the previous year. In 2019, 18.1% or 8,821 criminal cases were finished with a two-month delay. 

In fulfillment of the order of the President of the Republic of Belarus prosecutorial bodies continued to minimize the issue of detention orders – the number of detained individuals decreased from 11,640 to 9,846, or by 15.4%. 

Supervision of court rulings legislation compliance 

In 2019, the prosecutorial bodies supported public prosecution in 34,503 criminal cases, which account for 89.9% out of the total number of court hearings. 

Due to objections made by the prosecutors, it became possible to emend courts’ mistakes and faults in regard to 2,919 individuals. 

Moreover, about 4,299 complaints relating to the legitimacy, foundation and justification of judicial decisions in criminal cases were viewed – a 20% increase as compared to 2018. 200 complaints were justified and relevant prosecutorial actions were followed. 

Supervision of civil rulings legislation compliance 

The bodies of the Prosecutor’s Office managed to reorganize a procedure to appeal court rulings in civil cases – efforts to check the legitimacy and foundation of court decisions are concentrated on the most important and socially-relevant cases. Among them one can mention the following: disputes related to the loss of ownership right for residential premises and labour disputes, complaints relating to actions of public officials. 

As for the above-mentioned obligatory categories, 375 court rulings or 70% out of the total number of cases were dismissed upon prosecutor’s objections. Along with that the ratio of such objections raised from 64% in 2018 to 83% in 2019. 

Dealing with applications from citizens and legal entities 

In 2019, there was an increase by 3.9 % (from 72,553 to 75,382) of citizens’ appeals to prosecutorial bodies. 

The total number of justifiable applications and complaints remained at the same level of 11.6%. 

Generally, citizens inquired about law enforcement (9,108 appeals) and complained about actions and decisions of the bodies of inquiry (9,724 complaints) and the prosecutors of the Investigative Committee (6,083 complaints). 

About 49 thousand of citizens and business entities’ representatives approached prosecutors in person. Field visits enabled prosecutors to reach more than 7 thousand people. 

At the end of the meeting, the Collegium summed up the results of 2019 and elaborated a plan of action for 2020. 

After that Aleksandr Konyuk thanked prosecutorial officials for their service and gave awards to a range of employees. 

The Prosecutor General held a press-conference later this day.

Photo: Prosecutor General’s Office, BelTA (Oksana Manchuk)

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