Prosecutors May Move to Ministry

The Investigative Committee of the Prosecutor General's Office could expand its influence, gaining more independence and absorbing the investigative branch of the Interior Ministry, Vedomosti reported Monday, citing Kremlin and Interior Ministry sources.

As part of the reform, the Prosecutor General's Office could be merged with the Justice Ministry, which would take over most powers currently held by prosecutors, including the right to carry out inspections of almost any government agency, a Kremlin source told Vedomosti on condition of anonymity.

Prosecutors would continue to monitor investigations and represent the state in court, the source said.

Meanwhile, it appears that the Investigative Committee, which operates under the auspices of the Prosecutor General's Office, would increase its influence under the reform.

The Interior Ministry's investigative branch could be merged with the Investigative Committee, while the rest the ministry could be broken up into federal criminal police, municipal police forces and a national guard, Vedomosti cited a ministry source as saying.