Russia’s Investigative Committee Gets Heavy

Of course it’s good to see this news today that the Investigative Committee has responded to repeated complaints and reopened several cases into murdered journalists – of course it would also be good to know why the cases were closed in the first place. 

There appear to be numerous indications that Alexander Bastrykin is taking on a heavy workload on behalf of the president – he’s probably going to lead the takedown of Baturina’s Inteko, he’s announced that they know the killer of Natalia Estemirova, and on Sept. 23 Medvedev announced that the Investigative Committee would be turned into a new, powerful agency that would report directly to the president, rather than the prime minister (keep in mind that the IC was created out of the General Procuracy to help Putin feel at ease from too much legal power being concentrated in his successor’s hands).

This shouldn’t be confused with real judicial or legislative reform, of course.  But we’re led to believe that it means something more than just a change of name – the IC was originally designed to watch the watchers – so there seems to be some shifting around of checks and balances between FSB, MVD, and prosecutors, while President Medvedev has armed himself with quite a weapon, and we now know that’s he willing to use it.