Aleksandr Lukashenko meets with Investigation Committee chief Valery Vakulchik

    President of Belarus Aleksandr Lukashenko heard out a report from Chairman of the Investigation Committee Valery Vakulchik on 23 October.

    The meeting touched upon the improvement and optimization of the operation of the Investigation Committee, the fulfillment of relevant instructions given by the head of state, and the progress in investigating several cases personally monitored by the head of state.

    Aleksandr Lukashenko was interested in how the establishment of the Investigation Committee was going and stressed the importance of the decision to set it up.

    The head of state warned that any errors have to be corrected in the course of the Investigation Committee operation. Aleksandr Lukashenko said: “You should report all the time whether we have committed some errors. If some errors are committed, they have to be corrected immediately. You see what processes Russia and other countries faced as they tried to separate investigation into virtually an independent government agency. Therefore, taking into account these shortcomings we should try to avoid errors in Belarus,” said Aleksandr Lukashenko.

    The President was interested in changes of the indicators that characterize investigation work: “We see that the indicators have not dropped. But these are reports, information. I am interested to know in what is going on for real. All in all, there is an entire complex of questions regarding the stronger investigation in the country and consequently results of the work”. The head of state said that it is now possible to analyze the first results of the re-organization. “I’d like to hear how your colleagues respond that have been stripped of investigative functions, primarily the KGB, the prosecution, the State Control Committee. What is going on at all in this field?” wondered the head of state.

    Valery Vakulchik said that the Investigation Committee regularly monitors its perception by officers of the Interior Ministry, the prosecution, and by citizens. According to the official, citizens and law enforcement personnel positively respond to the re-organization and the efforts of the Investigation Committee.

    The President was informed about the optimization of the Investigation Committee structure. Valery Vakulchik remarked that after one year of work the Investigation Committee has determined ways to improve the quality of work and optimize the structure. In particular, one can say that the operation of the Investigation Committee involved some individual excessive auditing functions. Therefore, it has been decided to reduce the number of divisions in the Committee and lay off the workforce. Measures have been taken to equally distribute the workload between investigators and optimize the human resources of oblast and district units of the Committee. In particular, the proposed changes will allow laying off about 40 people, including 34 executives, of whom 15 ones have the special rank of justice colonel. The measures are not supposed to affect the effectiveness of investigations because the “rightsizing” will not affect investigators.

    The head of state agreed with the approach and gave instructions to implement it in the near future.
    The President was also interested in the operation of two commissions that Valery Vakulchik had been asked to head. “We are now examining the work of the government communication agency and some personnel matters. I’d like to hear information about it before I get a written report. After that you can get together with power-wielding officers to discuss the problems that may emerge in the operation of the two commissions”.

    A commission made of specialists of the State Secretariat of the Security Council, the Belarus President Administration, the Belarus President Security Service, and the Operations and Analysis Center has been set up to examine the work of government communication agencies. The commission has worked for the last two weeks. According to Valery Vakulchik, the examination has revealed reserves for improving the effectiveness of the work, ways to optimize government communications, improve the operation, and enhance the personnel potential.

    Aleksandr Lukashenko and Valery Vakulchik also discussed several criminal cases, which investigation is monitored by the President.

    Criminal charges have been brought against executives of the meat-processing joint venture Euro Trade Brest. Belagroprombank has incurred damage to the tune of several millions of US dollars. Legal proceedings have been initiated against the former director of the enterprise for swindling a loan. A founder of the enterprise, who is a Russian citizen, is under investigation for arranging the shipment of merchandise to Russia without payments. Thus, the company is owed approximately $20 million.

    The President ordered a quality investigation into the criminal cases. He said he wanted clarification whether executives of government agencies may have been involved in the crime, with measures to be taken to recover the losses.