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Toni Schönfelder
A lifetime of innovation

Corruption in Russia 2003

Some 800 Russian police convicted of corruption-related crimes

More than 1,400 Russian police officers were convicted last year of crimes, the vast majority corruption-related offenses, ITAR-Tass news agency quoted a senior law enforcement officer as saying Thursday. "Some 800 police were convicted of office crimes, including bribe-taking," Konstantin Romodanovsky, head of the Interior Ministry´s Internal Security Department, was quoted as saying. Another 600 police were convicted of other, undisclosed crimes. Russian police officers, like other state employees, are very poorly paid, and many consider bribes a legitimate way to enhance their meager salaries. Police posted at subway stations frequently conduct spot document checks and if a Russian´s or foreigner´s identification papers are not in order, the policeman is as likely to demand a bribe as to issue a formal citation. Russia´s traffic police are among the most feared, stopping motorists randomly on the country´s roadways. Romodanovsky said prosecutors opened 500 corruption cases against traffic police, which along with patrol officers and criminal investigators accounted for most of last year´s corruption crimes, ITAR-Tass reported. Romodanovsky also noted a recent trend where officers were secretly members of criminal groups, and in one case extorting money from the owners of expensive cars in Moscow.

In Year 2002 feb Putin complains about criminals
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Putin said 7,000 killers had escaped punishment last year and that hundreds of thousands of other criminals were at large. "Murders, kidnappings, assaults and robberies are becoming virtually everyday occurrences in our lives," Putin said. A total of 2.9 million crimes, the majority of them grave, were registered in Russia last year, up 0.5 percent up from the year before, Prosecutor General Vladimir Ustinov told the meeting. A staggering 884,000 of them remained unsolved. Putin criticized prosecutors for suspending 1,300 criminal investigations illegally, the ITAR-Tass news agency reported, and said that more than 40,000 cases had been closed because investigators had not managed to identify any perpetrators, according to the Interfax news agency. He also said that 30,000 people go missing in Russia every year and are not found. Putin reiterated that he would not end Russia´s moratorium on capital punishment. Many Russians, including top officials, have called for an end to the moratorium the government imposed in 1996 to gain entrance to Europe´s leading human rights organization, the Council of Europe. "The relatives of murder victims have appealed to me to lift the moratorium on the death penalty, people are moved to do this not only because of criminals´ cruelty but also because of the frequent powerlessness of the law enforcement organs," Putin said. "But what sense is there in tougher punishment if we can´t guarantee the main factor, the irreversibility of punishment?" Alarmingly, Ustinov said, during audits of law enforcement agencies prosecutors found 122,000 crimes that police had overlooked

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