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New investigation committee to employ over 16,000 - Putin decree - 1

(Adds background in paras 2-6)

MOSCOW, August 2 (RIA Novosti) - Russian President Vladimir Putin signed Thursday a decree to establish an Investigation Committee with staff of more than 16,000, the Kremlin press service said.

The committee will be subordinate to the Prosecutor General's Office.

In June Russian senators appointed a deputy top prosecutor to head the Investigation Committee, to handle pre-trial investigations.

The upper house of parliament, the Federation Council, said in June that Deputy Prosecutor General Alexander Bastrykin would assume the post on September 7, when a law on establishing the committee comes into force. Until that date, he will be its acting director.

Under the law to establish the Investigation Committee, adopted by the lower house, the State Duma, on May 11 and approved by Senators on May 25, the committee will comprise a Main Investigation Department, as well as regional and special investigation departments.

These investigation bodies will focus on the pre-trial investigations of criminal cases currently within the competence of investigators of the Prosecutor General's Office.

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