Russia’s police will be monitored by a new department set up within the investigative committee to probe police crimes in the wake of a string of brutal police attacks on detainees, the investigation committee said on its website.
Alexander Bastrykin, head of the committee, has signed a decree to the effect. Investigators in the new squad will look into all related cases with assistance from their colleagues in the Federal Security Service (FSB).
Police officers, “having specific knowledge and operative investigation skills use them for their own purposes and do their best to mislead investigations and escape criminal responsibility,” the committee’s press service said.
The new department will have divisions in Moscow and St. Petersburg as well as in other cities throughout the country.
Police crimes came into spotlight in Russia after March 11 when a man died in custody after allegedly being sodomized by police in Kazan on the Volga. The tragic incident was followed by a series of brutal treatment cases by police around the country.
Russian Interior Minister Rashid Nurgaliyev was summoned to the State Duma last week to report on the progress of a police reform program launched last year.
In a latest development, a court in the Voronezh Region in central Russia gave a police officer a suspended three-year sentence for beating up a detainee who had tried to escape at a railway station.
Another policeman, reportedly under the influence of alcohol, opened fire in the air at a billiards club in central St. Petersburg on Tuesday night.