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Crime without fight does not give up

Crime without fight does not give up

Deputy Prosecutor General of the Russian Federation Yuri Gulyagin talks about how to defeat corruption if you seriously want to do it.

- Yuri Alexandrovich, in Russia the phrase "then I go to the prosecutor!" often serves as the last argument of a person fighting for justice. We are afraid of the prosecutor's office, but we are sure of its incorruptibility and integrity. And for good reason. For example, in the Far East, it was the prosecutor's office that initiated several high-profile anti-corruption cases, the result of which was the resignation of high-ranking officials (including the vice-governor of Primorye Sergei Shishkin, chief federal inspector for the Primorsky Territory Sergey Lomaev, etc.). But has it become easier or more difficult for you to fight corruption yourself?

- The fight against corruption is never easy, especially when it comes to high-ranking officials. But all these years, despite the tangible resistance, prosecutors conducted their work more and more actively. We operate strictly within the framework of the legislation that regulates the fight against corruption, the principles of state and municipal service, budget formation, the use of state and municipal property, the placement of orders, etc. In order not to be unfounded, I will cite a few numbers.

In 2013, prosecutors of the Far Eastern Federal District revealed almost 10 thousand violations of the law on state and municipal service. In order to eliminate them, 16% contributed more views than in 2012. As a result of their consideration, over 2,2 thousand guilty officials were brought to disciplinary liability. At 27%, the number of claims brought to the courts increased, 64% increased the number of persons brought to administrative responsibility for violations of laws on state and municipal service, 25% - the number of warnings declared to violators of the law. These are figures, but I have the conviction that, in terms of everyday language, there is more order.

- What are the reasons for the introduction of prosecutorial response measures were the most frequent in your practice?

- For example, in territorial bodies of the Federal Service for Drug Control, the Pension Fund and the Social Insurance Fund, internal affairs agencies, the Federal Tax Service, local governments of Primorsky and Khabarovsk Territories, the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia), the Jewish Autonomous Region; property obligations were presented not in full, in violation of the deadline. In some cases, the data frankly falsified. Also, some civil servants "forgot" to reflect in their declarations information about residential premises (houses, apartments, country houses, etc.), which they themselves or their family members owned. Often, only when checking it turned out that the spouses of state employees participate in commercial organizations whose officials are the founders. Thus, one of the specialists of the Department of Forestry in the Far Eastern Federal District was the founder of a certain limited liability company, which is strictly prohibited by law.

Of the criminal cases, perhaps the loudest refers to the 2013 year. It is associated with the former head of the Federal Agency for State Reserves in the Far Eastern Federal District. We identified there violations of federal legislation when placing certain state orders for the supply of goods to the state reserve — the prices of goods under a number of government contracts were artificially inflated. According to the materials of the prosecutor's check, a criminal case was initiated on the grounds of the crime provided for in paragraph “c” of the article 3 Art. 286 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (abuse of power). The investigation is underway.

Corruptionists naturally don’t surrender without resistance. Every year they use increasingly sophisticated schemes for embezzling budget funds. Therefore, our task is to act clearly and systematically, consistently and energetically so that there is not the slightest loophole for corruption.

But I am deeply convinced that the problem of corruption cannot be solved with the help of criminal law measures alone. It is necessary to change the public consciousness, to work actively with citizens, to gain their trust and support. So far, in my opinion, people in Russia are too lenient toward corrupt officials, and sometimes directly encourage them. For example, many people believe that a bribe is the most reliable way to solve a case in its favor. But let me, how can we fight if we are so “kind” to the criminals? Society itself must reject corrupt officials. Only such interaction can help in this matter.

- In late December, you personally held a reception for the residents of the village of Vanino. How was the conflict that arose there, which was discussed even at the press conference of the head of state? What problems still remain in your control?

- Yes, I went to the village of Vanino. At the reception on various issues, 67 person applied. I also met with the head of the Vanino municipal district and the heads of all law enforcement agencies. Yes, the information of journalists that in the logging enterprise of JV Arkaim JV accumulated arrears of wages, was confirmed. Within a year and a half, salaries for employees were not paid in time, with a delay of 2-2,5 months. I should note that the prosecutor's office of the Vanino district has already reacted to such signals: a set of measures for prosecutorial response to the head of the enterprise was adopted. However, he again allowed the emergence of debt. In connection with the non-payment of wages by the district investigative department of the Investigative Directorate of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation at the edge of 06.12.2013, a criminal case has been opened and investigated in part 2 art. 145.1 UK Criminal Code.

In addition, information was obtained about the double wage system in the enterprise and non-payment of wages in full. Instructions were sent to the head of the Federal Tax Service of Russia on the region to hold tax control measures for compliance with legislation on taxes and duties at the enterprise, to the head of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia on the region on participation in them. I continue to keep this situation under control in order to prevent the repetition of such glaring facts.

As for the violation of the law with the reduction of staff and the size of JSC "Port Vanino", here everything is somewhat different. We have not identified cases when the provisions of local acts worsen the rights of employees of the enterprise in comparison with labor legislation. In general, the organizational and staff activities carried out did not affect the level of employment and unemployment in the district. In 2013, the port was dismissed at its own will in connection with the retirement of 161 people, the reduction in staff due to changes in the structure of cargo turnover in the port - 57 (4,1% of the total). At the same time, 75 employees, who are subject to reduction, have been retrained and employed at the expense of the enterprise.

About the crime situation in the village of Vanino judge for yourself. The crime rate over the past 5 years in the area has decreased by 38%. Recently, there have never been reports of high-profile crimes against journalists or businessmen related to their professional activities, as well as crimes committed by members of criminal communities. We take as a basis, after all, facts, not emotions.

The issues that citizens addressed to us can be resolved at the level of district prosecutors and heads of territorial law enforcement bodies.

- In your opinion, is it normal that citizens are forced to contact you directly, and not these employees or local authorities?

- In any case, this is reality. And the main thing is that in the end the law should prevail. We will not pretend that all citizens' appeals immediately respond to the relevant structures. Some issues can not be resolved promptly on the ground, so people are forced to go with statements to higher authorities. The role is also played by the fact that very often citizens doubt that "on the spot" the inspectors will show sufficient objectivity. This is also a problem of restoring trust, which can not be resolved in one day. But it is necessary to solve it.

- You often spend personal receptions of citizens. About what, as a rule, you are asked, what questions can be solved more or less quickly?

- In 2013, I had more than 200 people on my personal reception. This, by the way, allows me to "keep my hand on the pulse" and see the situation with my own eyes. Being always up to date on the most topical topics, we can work for anticipation, react in a timely manner, plan and conduct appropriate checks.

Now a large number of complaints related to the protection of the rights of victims of large-scale flooding in the Far East: cases of unjustified refusal to pay compensation for the damage caused, inadequate survey of flooded housing and property, disagreement of citizens with the results of its examination, etc.

Many complaints about the fact that services in the sphere of housing and communal services render people poorly and not on time. More than once, the results of inspections carried out under such statements became criminal cases. For example, in the Primorsky Territory police officers unreasonably delayed the lawful decision on the fact of forgery of signatures of tenants in the minutes of the general meeting of the owners of residential premises of the house on the establishment of the condominium "Krasnoznamennaya, 155". A presentation was made by the Ussuri city prosecutor to the head of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia for the Ussuriisk urban district. Based on the results of its consideration, a criminal case was instituted in respect of part 3 Article 160 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (misappropriation or embezzlement) regarding the chairman of the condominium "Krasnoznamennaya, 155". In addition, after the prosecutor's intervention residents of the apartment building were recalculated payment for the use of electricity, which was unjustifiably overstated.

And I must say that I really appreciate the opportunity to talk with citizens during personal receptions. This is just one way to build people's confidence in law enforcement. Many citizens do not have the opportunity to go to court to protect their rights - someone does not allow for age and health, for others it's too much. The help of the prosecutor's office for them is the fastest, most effective and affordable way to protect their violated rights.

- Anti-corruption legislation has been finalized in recent years in the direction of toughening. What measures do you consider most important?

- These are, of course, federal laws that impose a strict system of control over the expenses of officials, and are an effective mechanism to fight corruption. It is necessary to strictly comply with the law on the declaration of income and expenditure of powerful people. But this requires careful control over the reliability of income declarations, the comparison of expenses with sources of income: these figures are far from always proportionate. Until recently, the personnel departments of state bodies were deprived of the opportunity to independently carry out checks on the reliability of information about incomes represented by state civil servants. In December, 2013, the legislator vested them with such powers.

In addition, from 1 January 2014, the Federal Law "On the contract system in the sphere of procurement of goods, works, services for provision of state and municipal needs" came into force, the norms of which are aimed at strengthening control over budget expenditures during tenders. This will make it possible to combat illegal activities of officials in this extremely "corruptionally dangerous" sphere more effectively.

- And what changes in the legislation, in your opinion, finally matured and became urgent?

- In accordance with the National Anti-Corruption Strategy approved by the Decree of the President of the Russian Federation from 13.04.2010 No. 460, corruption is described as one of the threats to the security of the Russian Federation. I think that there is a need to make changes to the Code of Administrative Offenses. These amendments should abolish the practice of stopping "insignificant" cases of administrative offenses related to corruption manifestations (articles X19.28 - illegal remuneration on behalf of a legal entity and 19.29 of the Code of Administrative Offenses of the Russian Federation - unlawful attraction to work activity or to performing works and rendering services of state or municipal employee).

- As reported by the media, in the Far Eastern Federal District the number of criminal cases related to corruption and bribes has increased - from 80 in 2012 to 120 now. On the anti-corruption articles of the Criminal Code in 2013 condemned more than 40 people. What is the reason for such activity of law enforcement bodies and how much damage is caused to the economy of the Far East by the persons involved in these cases?

- And again I will refer to the statistics. The number of corruption-related crimes registered in 2013 in the district increased by 12,3%. The greatest number of such acts was revealed in the Amur Region, Primorsky and Khabarovsk Territories. Corruption offenses are often committed in the areas of disposal of state and municipal property, budgetary funds, including those allocated to socially significant programs and facilities, procurement of goods, works, services for state and municipal needs. Therefore, we pay special attention to these areas. In 2013, more than 500 criminal cases against 589 persons were sent to the district courts, which is 28% more than a year before.

For example, in December 2013, the former deputy head of the Regional State Institution "DV Air Base" was convicted. The Khabarovsk District District Court found him guilty under the h. 6 Art. 290 of the Criminal Code, he was sentenced to 8 years of imprisonment in a strict-regime penal colony with a fine of 80,5 million rubles. The verdict did not come into force yet, however, since the convict appealed against it.

The main thing in the law is the principle of the inevitability of punishment for what has been done. Unfortunately, it does not always work. Therefore, in the course of supervisory activities, prosecutors continue to identify violations related to unlawful refusals to initiate criminal cases, incomplete investigation, violation of the terms of procedural checks and preliminary investigation. I believe that for us it is a matter of honor to ensure that such complaints do not arise, and those responsible for crimes on time (and inevitably) bear responsibility.

The number of criminal cases initiated under reports of corruption-related crimes in the investigative bodies supervised by the Office of the Prosecutor General of the Russian Federation in the district also increased. Investigators of the investigative unit of the Main Directorate of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia in the Okrug and the Investigative Department of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation in the Okrug opened 59 criminal cases in connection with this (or more times in 8 than in the 2012 year).

12 criminal cases have been sent to the court for consideration. The damage caused to the criminal cases completed by the criminal proceeding is over 919 million rubles. As a result of the trial, convictions for 2 criminal cases were pronounced.

If we talk about corruption as a “disease” of our society, then the same principle applies as in medicine. Prevention is the best treatment. The effectiveness of our work is largely determined precisely by whether we will be able to prevent and prevent such crimes. Actually, we don’t need any new program to work now: as far back as 2006, the General Prosecutor of the Russian Federation, Yu.Ya. Chayka, approved the strategy of the work of the prosecution authorities of the Russian Federation to combat corruption. We will continue to work in this direction. 

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