MOSCOW, November 25 (RIA Novosti) – The head of Russia’s powerful Investigative Committee freely lifted from the work of Western writers in his book on criminal fingerprinting, an activist group claimed Monday.
Alexander Bastrykin, an irascible public official who has come to prominence in recent years off the back of a string of high-profile investigations, published his pop science book “Signs of the Hand. Dactylography” in St. Petersburg in 2004.
Dissernet, a grassroots group that looks for plagiarism in academic works by Russian officials, has now found that about 68 of the 200 pages of text in the book were plagiarized with minor word tweaks.
Sources include Russian translations of books by German writer Jürgen Thorwald and US investigative journalist Anthony Summers, a Pulitzer Prize finalist, Dissernet member Sergei Parkhomenko said on his blog.
Bastrykin did not comment on the allegations as of late Monday. The Investigative Committee did not return a faxed request for comment.
The head of Russia’s top investigative body was first accused of plagiarism in 2007, but “Signs of the Hand” had not previously been subjected to thorough study.
Bastrykin, 60, most recently hit the headlines last week after he was barracked by students during a talk in the prestigious Sorbonne University.
Young people attending the talk hurled abuse at Bastrykin, accusing him of being responsible of human rights violations and committing plagiarism, prompting organizers to cut the lecture short.
Dissernet, which bases its studies on digital text analysis services, has since its inception in 2011 identified what it says is theft of written work by numerous high-ranking officials, including Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin, children’s ombudsman Pavel Astakhov and several federal legislators.
Most have denied allegations of plagiarism.