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Khodorkovsky: Prison's People - The Investigaor

Khodorkovsky: Prison's People - The Investigaor

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Published by mikhailkhodorkovsky

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Published by: mikhailkhodorkovsky on May 31, 2012
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07/28/2014

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*The names and the details of the eventshave been changed.
 
Prison’s people. The investigator
 
One of the most important people in the life of every prisoner
 — 
is the investigator. The person onwhom, given the real
ities of our judicial proceedings, your fate depends. To ―discern‖ or to ―not discern
the features of a crime, to designate as an accused or as a witness, to arrest or to leave under a signedpledge not to leave town, and even whether to allow a meeting with relatives
 — 
all this, and much, muchmore, is in the hands, as a rule, of a very young (up to 30 years) and very recent graduate from lawschool.By law the investigator is independent. Almost as much as a judge. In actuality he is but one small cog
in the ―law
-
enforcement vertical‖. A petty bureaucrat, often
not even having a voice with respect tosubstantive questions of his work.For four years, with a brief interruption, I interacted with these people. Nobody actually required thatthey pretend to be actually investigating anything, but procedure obligated us to be present in the sameoffice together for the duration of many hundreds and thousands of hours. It was not possible to avoidinteracting completely, and besides there was no such goal. Various kinds of people were encounteredamong the investigators
 — 
the indifferent ones and those who found their role to be a burden, those who
aspired to understand something and those who were simply ―
serving out
the number‖.
1
 I do not wish any of them ill, therefore my story
 – 
is loosely based on the tales of those of them who havealready left
―the system‖.
 Yuri Ivanovich*
 — 
 
a rare personage in ―my‖ investigative group,
selected in the main
from ―national cadres‖
.
2
Ones like him arealways a problem for the bosses
 — 
 
he‘s independent, to the extent that this is possible within the
framework of the system. His sense of his own dignity is supported by an awareness of his professionaland everyday self-sufficiency. A good education, an apartment he got from his parents, and a quick mindallow him to sometimes have his own opinion about the
undertakings
‖ in which he
has to be involved in
 parallel with ―my‖ case
.From time to time he shares this same opinion with me.Today Yuri Ivanovich can barely contain his emotions:
―Can you imagine, Mikhail Borisovich, yesterday
there was a raid against the illegal felling of timber.
 I can certainly imagine the problem. They fell the timber barbarically, closer to the cities and the roads,they cut the trees any which way, and, of course, without any permissions, for which you need to pay into
the budget. The ―chop
page
3
 
 — 
next smuggled as contraband over
the border. That‘s how nearly all thelocal ―elite‖ ―lives‖.
 
 
1
 
«otbyvayushchie nomer»
 
 –
 
this unusual phrase uses the same verb as “serving time” in prison, and most likely means “goingthrough the motions until it’s time to move on to something else”.—
Trans.
 
2
 
“national cadres” –
ethnic non-
Russians. “Yuri Ivanovich” (a very Russi
an-sounding name) is one of the rare ethnic-Russiansamong the investigators.
Trans.
 
3
 
«Narublennoye»
 
that is, the felled timber.
Trans.
 

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