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12 April 2018, 13:55

Introduction of digital investigation procedures in Belarus influenced by foreign experience

MINSK, 12 April (BelTA) – Foreign experience was taken into account as components of digital criminal proceedings were assimilated in Belarus, BelTA learned from Chairman of Belarus' Investigative Committee Ivan Noskevich.

Belarus' Investigative Committee has been putting efforts into switching criminal proceedings to digital technologies for several years now. The committee tries to optimize and simplify its workflow by introducing various kinds of information technologies. Using only digital technologies for criminal proceedings is the final goal. The committee takes into account accomplishments and errors of foreign partners. In particular, some components of digital criminal proceedings have already been introduced in Georgia, Kazakhstan, and Armenia.

Ivan Noskevich said: “We are now creating our own consolidated automated information system, which is supposed to switch criminal proceedings to the digital platform in addition to optimizing and improving the operation of the entire agency.” The transition from paper to digital formats will allow reducing the paperwork and saving time.

“We are now on the lookout for a serious organization with intellectual and material resources that will be able to make the software product for us. After issuing the invitation to the tender I would like to invite serious Belarusian IT companies to participate in the tender in order to help the Investigative Committee develop the consolidated automated information system,” said the official. The committee has already prepared technical specifications without resorting to outside agencies. Time and money have been saved that way.

The chairman of Belarus' Investigative Committee said he was confident that in the near future they would be able to deploy the consolidated automated information system. Digital criminal proceedings should also start working in the near future.

Ivan Noskevich also mentioned other digital steps. The legislation on criminal procedures has been amended upon the initiative of the Investigative Committee. “For more than a year we can question people remotely using videoconferencing. We have also submitted a number of other proposals to amend the legislation on criminal procedures. In particular, we suggest using various kinds of information sources, including video records, as self-sufficient evidence. We suggest getting rid of such an anachronism as attesting witnesses and replacing them with digital media, in particular, video records,” added Ivan Noskevich.

An international science and practice conference on improving investigative activities in the digital age is scheduled to take place in Minsk on 12-13 April. Participants of the conference are busy discussing the use of information, communication and other technologies for pretrial criminal proceedings. Foreign experience, prospects of introducing components of digital criminal cases, and the organization of cybercrime investigations are also on the agenda. The investigation of crimes involving cryptocurrencies is in the center of attention, too.

The conference gathered representatives of all the government agencies involved in criminal proceedings (the Investigative Committee, the Interior Ministry, the State Security Committee, the Supreme Court, and the Prosecutor General's Office), representatives of expert and research institutions, leading universities.

A collection of papers written by representatives of the scientific community and specialists of law enforcement agencies and other agencies of Belarus, Russia, Armenia, and Kazakhstan was published in the run-up to the conference. The conference has been organized by Belarus' Investigative Committee in association with the legal information database distribution company OOO YurSpektr.

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