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.
The Labour and the Tax Ministries are considering the possibility to include persons engaged in some economic activity without forming a legal entity in the social security system. When the decree No 337 comes into effect, the number of private entrepreneurs is likely to reduce due to the possibility of reducing the tax burden when switching to a tax payment as an individual. 95% of self-employed, including PE, pay insurance premiums on the basis of the minimum wage. The number of self-employed citizens is expected to increase, the number of insurance contributions to the pension system from PE will decrease, the number of citizens who will pay a fee to finance government spending will decrease by several tens. Self-employed citizens have the alternative not to pay social security fees and save resources for future pensions, which, given the gradual restriction by the state of pension requirements could be a more long-sighted option.