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Duma Bill Could Allow Private Security Bag Searches at Sochi Games

Private security contractors could be allowed to search spectators' bags and purses Amanda Niekamp

The State Duma's Anti-Corruption and Security Committee has delayed a law that will allow private security companies to search people's possessions as they enter stadiums at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.

The amendments to the current law, prepared by the Liberal Democratic Party's Andrei Lugovoi, would allow contracted guards to search citizen's bags as long as they were in the presence of a uniformed police officer, Vedomosti reported Friday.

Lugovoi said that allowing private security employees to search bags for prohibited items like fireworks, weapons and alcohol, would lighten the load of the "extremely burdened" police force.

The first version of the bill was rejected yesterday amid concerns over its clarity. The committee's deputy chairman, Ernest Valayev, said the proposed amendments could be broadly construed and would give independent contractors additional police powers.

The Interior Ministry has confirmed that it would participate in the reformulation of the law.

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