Prominent Russians: Yury Chayka
Yury Chayka was born on May 21, 1951 in Nikolayevsk-on-Amur, a town on the banks of the Amur River in Russia's Far East. As a boy he was a big football fan"A very energetic, demanding and determined man... The Irkutsk Region is a very difficult place to work but he managed well. In 1992 five out of eight criminal cases in Russia fell in that region. After he tried the shoes of a regional prosecutor, I think Yury got the best opportunity to learn Russia's legal system from the inside."
Chayka continued climbing the career ladder and became Russia's Minister of Justice in 1999. While at that post, the amount of prisoners in the country was reduced by around 200 thousand. Chayka supported 59 amendments to the criminal, criminal-procedural and criminal executive codes, reducing the amount of violations punishable by jail. He personally promoted a law to electronically control criminals who've committed minor felonies. Some reports in the media suggest it was because of Yury Chayka that the nationalist-oriented political movement "Spas" was not allowed to take part in the elections to Parliament. In June 2006 Yury Chayka became the Prosecutor General, a post he maintains to this day.
In March 2007, Chayka presented a law, creating the Investigative Committee. This way the Prosecutor's Office would only have to supervise the course of investigations while the Committee itself would deal with the actual criminal cases. The bill was passed by both chambers of Parliament and signed by the President and, in September 2007, 60 thousand criminal cases from across Russia were officially passed to the newly founded Committee.
Yury Chayka is also a member of Russia's Security Council and has seven state and five department honors, including a Grade IV Order of Merit for his achievements in strengthening law and order in Russia.
Family and controversy
Yury Chayka is married, has two children and three grandchildren. His wife has a degree in teaching and his eldest son Artyom - a degree in law. Artyom is currently the co-founder of several companies and is reported to be the partner of Bashyr Kodzoyev - a deputy of the State Duma from the southern Russian republic of Ingushetia.
Artyom Chayka's link with some Caucasus nationals has become a source of controversy. Once, police detained two men suspected of blackmail in large amounts - both from the Republic of Ingushetia and both driving in Artyom's car. After searching the vehicle, police found heroin, a revolver, one grenade, a special ticket to park in front of the State Duma and another ticket freeing its owner from police inspections. The car itself had government license plates usually given out only to senior officials. It's very rare that cars with such plates are stopped by police. According to the investigators, the two suspects used the car in their blackmail schemes. Moreover, both of them turned out to be Artyom's former acquaintances from the time the Chayka family lived in Irkutsk. Even though Artyom legally allowed the couple to use his car and was not with them at the time of the arrest, the big question on the lips of the investigators was how he'd managed to obtain all the above listed privileges available only to senior officials such as his father? Unfortunately, this question still hasn't been answered.
Yury Chayka is reported to be a religious man and even makes pilgrimages to the Afon Mountain and cathedral community in Greece every year. According to the Moskovsky Komsomolets newspaper, he sponsored the construction of an Orthodox Christian cathedral and a school in his hometown of Nikolayevsk-on-Amur.
Written by Egor Piskunov, RT correspondent