MOSCOW, February 21 (RAPSI) – The State Duma lawmakers passed in the third and final reading on Thursday a bill authorizing courts to issue arrest warrants in absentia for persons put not only on the international wanted list but on the CIS interstate one as well.

According to the bill’s explanatory note, a state-to-state search agreement signed by member states of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) envisages cooperation of the countries’ law enforcement authorities in searching wanted persons within the CIS territory, including detection, arrest and detention of fugitives for their further extradition. But under national laws and international obligations of CIS members, including Russia, wanted persons may be arrested, detained and extradited if an arrest warrant has been issued for them.

However, current Russian legislation stipulates that fled persons may be arrested in absentia if they have been put on the international wanted list in accordance with an Interpol Red Notice.

The draft law therefore proposes amendments to Russia’s Criminal Procedure Code, which will broaden the powers of Russian investigators and courts to arrest wanted persons in absentia. The bill will boost the effectiveness of interstate search and achievement of its objectives, the explanatory note reads.