Duma to discuss bill on witness protection

This September, the State Duma will discuss the bill on the protection ofwitnesses on the first reading, Yevgeny Sadkov, an official of the RussianInterior Ministry, reported as a briefing today.He said that the Criminal Procedure Code, which had come into force thisJuly, stipulated a number of provisions on protection of witnesses andcomplainants. For example, current legislation suggests the possibility ofkeeping secret data on the person of complainants and their relatives,provides for the prevention of undesirable contacts between a complainantand a suspect while holding identification, provides the possibility ofhaving a closed trial for providing security of the complainants andwitnesses. However, according to Sadkov, if the bill is adopted, it willenable law enforcement authorities to move important witnesses andcomplainants to other residence locations, to change their appearance andto provide body guards.Sadkov pointed out that the enforcement of this bill would requirecorresponding financing by the federal budget; however, concrete figuresfor witness protection activities have not been specified yet..

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