The House of Representatives on Friday gave second-reading approval to a bill that would empower law enforcement agencies to conduct certain investigative activities without a prosecutor’s warrant.
The bill would allow the interior minister, the chairman of the Committee for State Security (KGB) and the director of the State Control Committee’s Department for Financial Investigations to authorize arrests, searches, wiretapping and other operations without obtaining an appropriate warrant from a prosecutor’s office.
The heads of the three law enforcement agencies would be required to notify the prosecutor general of their orders regarding such warrantless operations within 24 hours. The prosecutor general would not be allowed to cancel such operations but would have the right to contest them in court.
The draft legislation would empower the interior minister, the KGB chairman and the director of the State Control Committee department along with the prosecutor general and the prosecutors subordinate to him to institute criminal proceedings against certain groups of civil servants, including members of both parliamentary chambers.
The bill also would allow the heads of the three agencies to authorize investigative activities targeting prosecutors and judges and institute criminal proceedings against them. Only the prosecutor general has the power to do so at present.
Speaking after the bill was passed, Uladzimir Andreychanka, chairman of the House of Representatives, noted that certain provisions of the draft legislation had caused a mixed reaction from lower chamber members. He asked Viktar Huminski, chairman of the national security committee, to study the law's application a year after its entry into force.