MOSCOW, February 19 (RIA Novosti) - Russian state security and law enforcement agencies will retain their investigative functions for now, Security Council head Nikolai Patrushev said on Tuesday.
“At present, investigative functions are entrusted to the Russian Federation Investigative Committee, the Interior Ministry, the Federal Security Service (FSB) and the Federal Drug Control Service (FSKN). All will retain these powers in the foreseeable future,” Patrushev said in an interview with Rossiyskaya Gazeta daily.
A presidential decree, currently being drafted, will provide for a redistribution of investigative functions as part of comprehensive law enforcement reform, he said. The reform is meant to make crime investigations more effective and boost conviction rate, improve the staff's professional training and increase investigations' objectivity and independence.
The Investigative Committee’s functions will be expanded to include a range of offenses that are currently investigated by the Interior Ministry and the Federal Drug Control Service, Patrushev said.
“The Investigative Committee will handle more complex offenses - grave and especially grave crimes, as well as high-profile crimes,” he said.
The redistribution of investigative functions will not happen overnight, he stressed.
“This will involve a complex, transitional, stage-by-stage process that will take several years,” Patrushev said.
In July, President Vladimir Putin issued a decree downsizing the FSKN staff and increasing the personnel of the Investigative Committee, which, according to some media reports, should nearly double from the current 21,000.