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Russian FSB develops instructions for conducting searches without court order

Source: Meduza

Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) has released a set of proposed instructions for how agents should conduct home and automobile searches without court orders.

The document says that warrantless searches are legal “in urgent cases that could lead to the commission of a serious or very serious crime,” including cases where the authorities have information about a possible natural security threat.

According to the draft, agents who conduct searches without court orders are required to obtain official permission from their superiors before the operation. The FSB is then required to notify the court of the search within 24 hours.

To carry out “other investigations” without a warrant, the Russian newspaper Vedomosti noted, FSB agents would be required to obtain permission from one of the agency’s top officials, such as the organization’s director or his deputy, under the rules outlined in the document. In “urgent” situations, the instructions say, agents can conduct searches without written permission, but they must still inform an authorized superior.

In addition, the draft would give the FSB the right to confiscate documents and items that are unrelated to the case that sparked the search, the outlet reported.

“Documents, items, or materials that are confiscated from civilian circulation or items of restricted tradability that are in the possession of individuals without special permission can be confiscated during investigations,” reads the draft.

A public discussion on the proposed regulations is slated to be held by May 29. 

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