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    PUTIN, CHAIKA DISCUSS BAILIFFS, MEDIA OUTLETS

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    MOSCOW, APRIL 1, RIA NOVOSTI - Russia's President Vladimir Putin held conference today with Yuri Chaika, Justice Minister.

    Prominent on their agenda was the performance of bailiffs. A fairly new office in present-day Russia, it was reinstated in 1997 after many decades' break.

    Bailiffs helped to restore to the government purse of all levels 27 billion roubles, close on a billion US dollars, last year alone, said the minister, who found the figure impressive and hopeful.

    Labour fluidity is a bad problem in the field, what with bailiffs' token salaries. Staff proficiency, too, leaves much to be desired, complained Mr. Chaika.

    President Putin made an emphatic reference to crimes and misdemeanours bailiffs were committing in plenty. As far as the federal Prosecutor General's experts know, graft and abuse of office are rampant among bailiffs to rob the country of huge sums-in particular, with arrested property sales, he pointed out.

    Home security is on the alert to prevent such instances, and the ministry is working in close contact with law enforcement agencies, Mr. Chaika reassured in reply.

    The conferees also took stock of media outlet registration, which is in the Justice Ministry competence. As any civilised country, Russia attaches tremendous importance to its media, so the ministry makes it a point to closely abide by the law in the matter, stressed Yuri Chaika.

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