Murder of CEC member: new investigative system at work
On August 8th, Belarus learned about the tragic death of Central Election Commission member, 54-year-old Svetlana Khinevich. On August 4th, she was found dead in her apartment with multiple stabs.
The investigation into Khinevich murder is carried out exclusively by the two newly created law enforcement agencies - the Investigative Committee and the State Committee for Forensic Examinations. Belarus’ oldest law enforcement agency - Internal Affairs Ministry - was excluded from the inquest.
The murder case of Svetlana Khinevich demonstrates the new law enforcement system’s capabilities. The Investigative Committee was founded in 2012, and the State Committee for Forensic Examination in July 2013. Investigation and forensic expertise departments were dissolved in the country’s oldest law enforcement agency - MIA.
Svetlana Khinevich worked as Personnel Department Head at the Minsk-based ‘Crystal’ Plant and was a Central Elections Commission member. Before 2011, she worked as Personnel and Ideology Head at the President Administration Management of Affairs Chief Economic Management Directorate.
Investigative Committee representative said that the murder was a domestic violence case, unrelated to her professional and social activities. The suspect, a drug addict man, was detained and examined.
The criminal investigation into the Khinevich murder was instituted by the Investigative Committee and the State Committee for Forensic Examination conducted the forensic expertise. Both agencies were set up by President Lukashenko and managed by descendants from the Prosecutor’s Office, not from the Interior Ministry. Through these agencies the ruling group has strengthened the control over pre-trial investigation in general and in this particular case.
According to Belstat, in August 7,600 people were dismissed, including 4,800 civil servants. Dismissals of civil servants were due to the optimisation in the public administration by up to 30%. Some civil servants would retain their job however would lose the status of a civil servant. Vacancies on the labour market are likely to reduce in number, thanks to the optimisation, the state administration would increase wages for public servants. The payroll fund for retained employees is likely to increase and some former state employees are likely to get jobs in affiliated organizations. The optimisation of the state apparatus should complete by January 1st, 2018, and some former civil servants are likely to join the ranks of the unemployed.