23 Apr 2019 16:12

Number of abuse of power cases against FSIN officers increases threefold in year - Russian Prosecutor General's Office

MOSCOW. April 23 (Interfax) - The number of criminal cases initiated against employees of the Russian Federal Penitentiary Service (FSIN) for using violence against convicts has increased almost threefold in the past year, the Russian Prosecutor General's Office told Interfax in a statement on Tuesday.

"The investigative bodies have initiated 144 criminal cases against employees of the penitentiary system in the past three years. A total of 25 criminal cases of this category (abuse of power) were opened in 2016, 23 in 2017, and their number increased almost threefold; to 64 criminal cases, in 2018," the statement said.

Almost half of the cases were opened following prosecutorial inquiries, it said.

"A total of 67 employees, the majority of them in 2018, were prosecuted in the aforementioned criminal cases of malfeasance," the supervisory body said.

These figures were presented at a meeting of the panel of the Prosecutor General's Office dedicated to "the state of legality and practice of prosecutorial monitoring in the enforcement of the law aimed at preventing the use of unlawful methods of restraint against those in custody and sentenced to imprisonment."

"Prosecutorial inquiries in a number of regions detected violations of the law requiring employees of the penitentiary system to record on video, if possible, the use of physical force and non-lethal weapons, as well as instances of failing to present full versions of the video recordings to the prosecution," Prosecutor General's Office said.

Criminal cases were also initiated against employees of the penitentiary system for omitting crimes from the register. At the initiative of the Russian Prosecutor General's Office, 23 crimes were reinstated in the register. In 2018, over 350 illegal decisions of the investigative agencies to refuse opening a criminal case were overturned as part of prosecutorial monitoring.

In 2016-2018, prosecutors detected 260 violations related to failure to comply with the requirements of the law both on grounds for and the procedure of using physical force and non-lethal weapons. "A significant increase of such violations (fourfold) has been noted following the check in the past year, when 158 violations were detected," it said.