Rule of Law Institute

Prosecutors Got Confused Between Two Letters
Those who ordered the murder of the Novaya Gazeta journalist Igor Domnikov are still at large в 30.05.2008 в 20:43 (UTC)
 Investigation of Igor Domnikov’s murder has been going on for 8 years. All this time it sways from side to side. The killers and organizers – members of Tagiryanov’s criminal group - were sentenced for life and for long terms. This sentence has not become effective yet, as the murderers are trying to appeal it. But the experts are sure that the sentence will stay after being considered in the Supreme Court.
Our concern is not about that, but it is about outright unwillingness by investigative bodies to establish the role in this murder by former governor of Lipetsk region Dorovskoi and his business partner Sopot who lives in Moscow. We are absolutely sure it was them to order that murder. After our numerous applications, a pre-investigative check was started about the persons in question by order from A. Bastrykin, the head of the Investigative Committee at the Prosecutor’s Office.
But in December last year we received a refusal from the city of Naberezhnye Chelny to start a criminal case, despite the fact that not only potential witnesses but even the suspects themselves had not been examined. Well, on the one hand, we can understand the investigator from Tatarstan: how is he supposed to heck the circumstances of the crime committed by people who are not formally convicted and there is no possibility to require the materials of the criminal case. Besides, the suspects live in Lipetsk and Moscow, and not in Naberezhnye Chelny.
On the other hand, however, it’s difficult to understand why no response has been given so far to the complaint by the lawyer of the victim’s wife. The complaint was sent in December and was repeatedly sent in March. The lawyer insisted on canceling the decision of refusal to start a criminal case and insisted on making the new check in Moscow, the place where the crime was committed. The prosecutor’s office not giving any response, can it be that some thieves have got inside and have stolen all the correspondence?
Talking seriously, we insist on receiving the immediate response so that to understand the course of further actions: shall we have to wait the check to be started or shall we appeal the prosecutor’s office decision in the court?
Novaya Gazeta, 29.04.2008

Organizers Eased Off Too Early
The case of Igor Domnikov’s murder to be passed to investigators of Central Federal District в 30.05.2008 в 20:42 (UTC)
 The killers and executive organizers of the murder of Igor Domnikov, a journalist from Novaya Gazeta, have been convicted. It’s been for several years that the newspaper and the Igor’s relatives demand that a criminal case also to be started against former vice-governor of Lipetsk region Dorovskoi and a businessman Sopot whom we consider to have been involved in this crime.
Right after entering his office of the head of Investigative Committee Alexander Bastrykin promised to see into details of the deaths of the two Novaya Gazeta journalists – that’s Yuri Shchekochikhin and Igor Domnikov. Well, he was as good as his promise: a criminal case and investigation has been started on the count of Yuri Shchekochikhin’s death.
As for Igor Domnikov’s case, it was passed for pre-investigative checking to the city of Naberezhnye Chelny where Tagiryanov’s gang – the killers and executive organizers of the murder – was based. In December 2007 a local investigator refused starting a criminal case against the persons mentioned at the beginning. Stanislaw Markelov, the lawyer of Domnikov’s family, appealed that decision. The outcome is that an official response was received last week from the Investigative Committee.
“…The decision of refusal starting the criminal case was taken prematurely and was cancelled by the First Deputy Prosecutor General and the Head of Investigative Committee at the Prosecutor General’s Office, A.I.Bastrykin, on 29.04.2008. The prosecutor’s office of the Central federal district has been commissioned to carry out additional check”.
We know about the efforts made by the former vice-governor Dorovskoi so that to avoid getting into the spotlight in this case. We do hope all his efforts to be in vain in the end.
Novaya Gazeta

OSCE representative encourages Belarus to work closer with NGOs to combat human trafficking
Blanca Tapia Public Information Officer в 24.05.2008 в 09:20 (UTC)
 MINSK, 8 April 2008 - The OSCE Special Representative and Co-ordinator for Combating Human Trafficking, Eva Biaudet, encouraged the Belarus Government today to support NGOs working on protecting and assisting child victims of trafficking.

"In Belarus there are around twenty NGOs, and they need financial support from the State," said Biaudet, who is on a three-day official visit to Minsk.

"The national responsibility to fight human trafficking is measured by the State contribution and the involvement of civil society institutions. Only if they work together will the programmes to combat trafficking be successful."

During her visit, Biaudet will meet Foreign Minister Sergey Martynov, Interior Minister Vladimir Naumov, parliamentarians and NGO representatives. She will also participate in an international conference "Violence against children", take part in the opening of a film programme, "Cinema against Trafficking in Human Beings" launched by the OSCE Office in Minsk, and visit the International Centre on Migration.

The OSCE Representative said that her visit served the purpose of continuing a political dialogue with Belarus and intensifying the exchange of views on how to foster co-operation with non-governmental organizations working in OSCE-relevant fields.

She expressed interest in finding out more about the Belarus programme which aims to provide protection and rehabilitation for child victims. "I would also like to know how the authorities co-operate with NGOs, the main service providers. National ownership of combating human trafficking means that the government bears the final responsibility for providing assistance and rehabilitation of victims of human trafficking," she said.

"Human trafficking is a crime which violates human rights. It deprives people of their freedom and fosters violence. When this crime is committed against children, the most vulnerable members of our society, its consequences stretch far into the future."

OSCE assists Belarus in evaluating new information law
Francois-Vadim de Hartingh Public Affairs/Economic and Environmental Affairs Officer в 24.05.2008 в 09:19 (UTC)
 MINSK, 26 March 2008 - A draft law on information and protecting information is the focus of a roundtable discussion in Minsk today.

The event, held at the Chamber of Representatives, brought together government officials and experts from the Office of the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, who have analyzed the draft and have offered recommendations on ways to improve it.

"I am convinced that the openness of the parliamentary commission on this matter and the fact that some of the comments provided by the OSCE in their first evaluation have already been taken into account in the present draft of the bill are hopeful signs that such co-operation will continue in the future," said Ambassador Hans-Jochen Schmidt, the Head of the OSCE Office in Minsk.

The draft law will be presented during the Spring session of Parliament which opens 2 April.

Roland Bless, the Director of the Office of the Representative on Freedom of the Media, said: "I hope that the reform of the media will continue in a transparent manner, and involve all stakeholders, including the Parliament Commission, NGO's and international experts. Our office stands ready to further assist the Government of Belarus in adopting a media-friendly law to improve the country's legislation and bring it in line with OSCE commitments."

The review of the second draft of the law is available at




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