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MYSTERIES OF THE RUSSIAN POLICE.

A__F5"S CAREER AS SPY AND TBREORIST. ST. PETERSBURG, Febnnur 3. The secret poHce scandal still continues to move H.__rt_D society to its depths. Rumours, theories, and reminiscences are dally cro- 'lag up, bewildering the friends _nd _dversarie- of the Gover—in-ent, bat two main currents of public opinion carry nearly everybody with them. O—e, which takes rise In a Conservative source, declares thar ohe moral of tie l_cl_anc is that the Russia.n police cleverly outrw-ltted the Russian R,evol_tlo_ary Committee, causing It co be led about by a paid age-nt of tha detective force. Accordi-j to Che orher view, the police method—, even If envisaged In the light ot excessive indulgence, were tir——ly criminal, and calculated to demontHse boch acco_iplices and viet—ns. One of the principal representatives of the departmenc assured an Interviewer that the department was ready and wlliln g to have the police methods In vogue weighed and measured by European srandairas, for he _nd his Immediate predecessors execrate the principle that the end —allows the mea—s, and they. Therefore, never tolerate it. The circumstance that the safety of the State is concerned does not watTant the police in thnjsr—lg aside momentarily the elementary r—incrples of ethics. The Interviewer said: "The theory accepted by many is That the Department PoMce deliberately provoked, in order more easily to baffle, crtrnes which It oaght to —a _ e co—tejnted Itself with preventln--.' 'That theory." was the reply, "is utterly false, and even the Revoln—otcary Committee has abandoned !t." "Bnt didn't A -erf erpose the PoHce Department to the charge of lncitl_g to ori—ie?" "Certainly not.'" he replied, "for he was only a police agent, which Is by no means Identical with a police official. We neither like nor trust agents, and would be delighted to dispense with them altogether: bnt if we are to cope successfully with the heinous crimes which the Rerobitio—lsts extol we must get to know of them in their embryonic stage, while rhey still are plots." "You rhlnk that Azpff may have organised serial dastardly crimes, lEke the murders of "M. de Pie—ye and the Gran_ Duke Serglus?" "All I can say. in reply. Is that we possess cot the faintest ground to suspect him." "Is It not a fart." it was asked, "that some years a;?o Bakal. who had been Assistant Director ot .Police at Warsaw, gave evidence to tie Revolutionary Committee against Azeff, and that an investigation was Immediately ordered, which ended In the acquittal of A-eff and the murder of Jataroff?" "That is not quite correct," was the reply. "Bakai did not know many secret agents of the police abroad. "N'ooody in his position does. Even the Director o£ the Department of Police la not acquainted with the names of all. because the Chief of Police abroad Is allowed a large discretion, and the names of subordinate agents woold be of no help to the Central DepartmentBut Bakal had heard that Individuals, supposed to be members of Central 'Revolutionary Com—ulttee, were In the service of che Secret Police, and this information he communtc_Ted to the committee. Thereupon the readers of the com—llttee cast anxiously about for the traitor or traitors. B-urtse-singled out —zeQ\ wbo Indignantly and triomphancly repelled the charge as a cahl a tny, and continued to enjoy the unbonnded confidence of the criminal plotters, whose power for evil he was systematically paralysing. He never lost that con__ence until the ex-chief testSed that he was in the employ of the Secret Police. Last "November Aseff Informed iL _opuk_i-n that he wonkl be questioned about him (Azeff) by the Revolutionary Committee, and that be hoped t_at 11. Dopukhln would screen hkn. —l. —opnklidn did not screen, but surrendered. (Mm, testifying that Azeff was an emissary of the 'Russian police. After thiat the committee passed the death sentence on Azeff. who, being then abroad, disappeared entirely from the horizon of the Police Department. Let mc sum up briefly. We cannot frustrate dastardly plots unless we contrive to obtain timely information about them. This involves the employment of individuals who are members of the circles where those plots are fabricated, and this necessity we consider an an_vold—ble evil. 'But connivance at crime we vigorously eliminate from our sysren 1 in theory sard practice. A reason of State cannot Justify lawlessness; therefore, if any agent perpetrates a crime he will be dealt with as a criminal. We never had grounds for suppost—g that Azeff was a parry to any misdeed ■perpetrated after he began to serve the police. We have none To-day. If there be cogent grounds wa are ready To entertain them, and modify our views accordingly." "May I ask this last question} That was the celebrated ex-director of the police agency. Ratehkoffsky, doing during the period of the political murders?" "Rate—koffsky." the informant answered, "was trot In the service of the- Russian police at all. On the advent of il. de Fleave fo power he was relieved of his functions, and had nothing whatever to do with the police." According to the "Retch," The trial cannot be begun before May. The has been fined 2000 roubles for its comments on Ehe revelations. The papers dwell upon the silence of tie Right members In the Duma yesterday during the interpellations on the scandal, which, they maintain, shows that all parties are unanimous In reprobation of the system of provocation. The "Bourse Gazette" says: "If the secret police remain outside the law. and uncontrolled by It, every Azeff who disappears will be replaced by ten others." The '-Kovoye Vremya." In an article on the""Criminal Janus," taunts tie "heroes of the revolution" with having been mere puppets and tools of tie police provocator, and adds: "The activity of Azeff and such persons is in the highest degree perilous. The secret poHee ceases to be the protector of the State, and uecomes its most -dangerous weapon of attack."

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MYSTERIES OF THE RUSSIAN POLICE. Auckland Star, Volume XL, Issue 68, 20 March 1909

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