No special anti-corruption authority will be established in Russia, Kremlin administration chief Sergey Ivanov said on Monday.
“There is no such authority and there are no plans to establish it. Do you want us to set up a ministry of truth, like they did in Ukraine?” he told journalists.
A new government body, in his words, would only multiply the number of bureaucrats. He also cited the experience of other countries having “no special anti-corruption ministries.” Special experts were tackling corruption-related issues at various organization and agencies, Ivanov noted.
Corruption cases hard to investigate, take time
Sergey Ivanov disagreed that the Rosoboronservis holding is soft-pedaling cases initiated against its employees.
“We need to wait for the court verdicts,” Ivanov told a briefing on Monday.
“I cannot agree that everything there (at Rosoboronservis) is being hushed up or soft-pedaled. It is far from being so,” Ivanov said recalling that verdicts on some cases had already been passed and that the suspects had been convicted.
Ivanov said it is necessary to wait for a court verdict on the case involving Yevgeniya Vasilyeva, a former senior Russian Defense Ministry official charged with embezzlement of about $83 million.
Ivanov recalled that the court had ordered putting Vasilyeva under house arrest.
“You can snigger at this measure of restraint for as long as you like but it is still a measure of restraint,” the Kremlin administration chief went on to say. He added that Vasilyeva’s bank accounts were arrested long ago and all material valuables were confiscated from her. “We should simply wait for a court ruling prior to making any comments. We will be able to say that everything which could be done has been done to pay for the damage if the court rules that the damage has been indemnified,” Ivanov said.
“A court decision on Serdyukov (the former defense minister) has already come into force. A court ruling should be respected although it can be challenged,” Ivanov stressed.
He also added that a court decision on Bashneft had taken effect on Monday. Some of the defendants involved in that case have been convicted and sent to jail. Ivanov gave an example of a certain Ms. Belyalova who was found guilty on the Bashneft case and was serving a four-year prison sentence.
All corruption cases, according to Ivanov, are latent a priori and are hard to investigate.
“But there is still presumption of innocence in this country. No one has cancelled it,” he stressed.
In this connection, Ivanov called on journalists not to rush with comments or accusations.
First published by TASS.
All rights reserved by Rossiyskaya Gazeta.