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MOSCOW, September 27 (Itar-Tass) — Interpol will take an active part in investigating the terrorist attack at the Domodedovo airport in January 2011, head of the department for international cooperation under the Investigative Committee (SK) Mikhail Yadrov said at a meeting at the Interior Ministry marking the 21st anniversary of Russia's joining the world's largest international police organization.
Russian investigators have launched two-way information exchange with Interpol and already receive answers to a number of inquiries pertaining to the investigation.
Yadrov reminded that Russia had requested to help it gather information during the visit to Interpol's headquarters in Lyon by a delegation led by SK chief Alexander Bastrykin.
Specifically, the Russian side was interested in the information about the foreigners hurt in the explosion.
"We saw full mutual understanding and support at a meeting with Interpol Secretary General Ronald Noble in the issue of cooperation in investigating the act of terror," he added.
He noted that it is Interpol that provides priceless help in investigating criminal cases, especially, when it is necessary to ascertain the whereabouts of the suspect, or confirm that he or she is in the territory of this or that state.
At the same time, the SK official complained that the issue of getting quick answers to requests for international legal assistance is still a problem.
"This mechanism has serious shortcomings; it's a multi-tier procedure, as it takes months for the inquiry reach the addressee, and the answers take as long to get back," Yadrov said.
"Therefore, it is important to speed up the procedure," he went on to say noting that Interpol has a large potential. "For example, delivering the inquiry on providing legal assistance within the case of the poisoning of Russian citizens in Turkey in May 2011 was reduced to 4 - 5 days, whereas normally, it would take several weeks."
Representatives of the main criminal investigation department, the bureau of special technical measures and other Interior Ministry departments, as well as departments of the Federal Security Service, the federal drug control service, the department for combating contraband under the Federal Customs Service, as permanent partners of the National central Bureau of Interpol (NTSB) and its regional branches, congratulated it on the 21st anniversary of the establishment.
Former first director of Interpol Russia, retired Lt-Gen Vasily Ignatov reminded that the decision to join Interpol was made in 1990, after it turned out that the Soviet Interior Ministry practically had no contacts with foreign partners.
"We saw how many crimes were committed by foreigners and how many crimes our citizens committed abroad, and how many were reported missing. For example, at that time, up to 10,000 national works of art were missing at that time, and a considerable portion of them ended up abroad," Ignatov said.
On January 24, 2011, a suicide bomber blew himself in the arrivals hall at the Domodedovo airport, killing 35 people and injurnig another 200.
The investigators found out that the terrorist attack was aimed against foreigners in the first place. There were eight foreigners among the fatalities, and at least 17 foreigners were hospitalized, including citizens of Germany, Italy, Nigeria, Moldova, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Tajikistan and France.
On Tuesday, Deputy Interior Minister Sergei Bulavin said Russia was hoping for closer cooperation with Interpol in the investigation into high-profile criminal cases.
"It seems that quite recently, our citizens only knew the word Interpol from foreign crime stories. The 21 years that have passed have shown a new stage in the struggle against trans-national crime - our law-enforcement bodies have launched the opportunity of direct operative interaction with foreign partners," Bulavin said noting that Interpol currently brings together 188 countries.
"It is universally acknowledged that Interior today is the largest and most effective information exchange channel. It is Interpol that gives opportunity to police to overcome barriers between countries in fighting terrorism, contraband of narcotics and human trafficking.
"Today, the national bureau of Interior is a modern police unit," the deputy interior minister underlined. During the Interior Ministry’s reform, it raised its status : whereas earlier it was a unit under the Interior Ministry, it now is part of the Ministry’s central office.
"You bear great responsibility for yourself and for the country. You are the mirror of Russia police abroad when you take part in international operations," Bulavin said, "Interpol's potential is far from being exhausted. It is necessary to focus on information support for high-profile criminal cases."
Deputy head of Interpol Russia Alexei Abramov read greetings to NTSB personnel from Interior Minister Rashid Nurgaliyev on the occasion of NTSB's 21st anniversary.