Lawmakers back Putin's right on anti-terrorism operations abroad

Other News Materials 6 July 2006 11:29 (UTC +04:00)

(RIA Novosti) - Russia's lower house of parliament passed Wednesday a draft law giving the country's president the right to use the armed forces and secret services abroad to fight international terrorism.

With 226 votes necessary to pass the bill, 429 State Duma deputies backed the initiative, reports Trend.

President Vladimir Putin asked parliament for broader anti-terrorist powers in the wake of the abduction and murder of five Russian diplomats in Iraq, allegedly by an al-Qaeda-linked group. Last week, he ordered Special Forces to hunt down and "destroy" the killers, and offered a $10 million reward for information leading to their capture.

The bill, drafted following Russia's ratification of the Council of Europe Convention on the Prevention of Terrorism, introduces amendments to the counter-terrorism law as well as to the penal code, and the laws on the media, communications, and money laundering.

It reinstates a provision allowing the state to seize property from people charged with major crimes such as treason, espionage, seduction, hostage-taking, kidnapping, drug and human trafficking, extortion, money counterfeiting, and smuggling of materials and technologies that could be used to manufacture weapons of mass destruction.

The bill also puts restrictions on mass media coverage of anti-terror operations, designating the leader of an operation as the only person entitled to provide reporters with any related information.