22 August 2012

Citizen, let's go... for genome registration

You and I are of the same blood
Citizens will be able to voluntarily undergo genomic registrationMikhail Falaleev, Rossiyskaya Gazeta – Federal Issue dated 08/22/2012

The Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia has prepared a draft decree of the Government of the Russian Federation approving the rules of genomic registration. An explanatory note and a draft resolution of the Government of the Russian Federation "On approval of the regulations on the procedure for mandatory State genomic registration of Unidentified Persons whose Biological material was Seized during the Course of investigative actions, and Unidentified Corpses and on the procedure for voluntary state genomic registration" are put up for public examination on the official website of the department. It refers to both a mandatory procedure and a voluntary one.

As you know, in Russia there is a federal law on genomic registration, adopted back in 2008. Its use allows experts to almost completely identify any person within 12 hours. The number of mandatory "clients" included, of course, criminals. Which is logical: using biological samples, it is possible to determine exactly who committed the crime.

This is how more than half of repeat offenders are caught, whose DNA is already stored in the database of law enforcement agencies.

There is also voluntary registration, when people take tests to establish kinship, resolve some lawsuits or, unfortunately, to identify dead relatives.

Biological materials are taken from volunteers from among Russian citizens, foreigners and even stateless people living in Russia.

Analysts of the Ministry of Internal Affairs propose in the draft government decree to clarify the mechanism of implementation of this law and the responsibility of various departments.

Thus, the legislation requires mandatory genomic registration of convicts convicted and serving a sentence of imprisonment for committing serious or especially serious crimes. And also – rapists, pedophiles and other perverts.

It is also necessary to register the biological material seized from the crime scene. This is a special, time–consuming and very sensitive process. The detective does not know who the criminal is and whose biological traces were left at the scene. Literally everything is subject to study and analysis – hair, cigarette butts, clothes, various objects that people may have touched. Moreover, it is not a fact that it was the criminal who left these traces. Maybe they will identify a random passerby who visited here a few hours, or even days before the event. Therefore, the dossier is labeled "unknown person". The DNA of all unidentified corpses is also entered into the same information bank.

The question is – who is obliged to do all this work? Law enforcement officers propose to honestly divide the sphere of influence: prisoners and "unknown persons" from crime scenes are "hoed" by the Ministry of Internal Affairs, unidentified corpses are "hoed" by the Ministry of Health.

This is logical: surely civilian doctors will not crawl around the apartment where the crime occurred with a magnifying glass in search of a dropped hair or study the door handle, which could be taken by a murderer or rapist? And there is no need for an ordinary medic to communicate with prisoners – there are prison doctors for this. By the way, more than 60 thousand such unidentified objects fall to the share of police experts per year. The budget for genomic research at the Ministry of Internal Affairs is on average one and a half billion rubles a year.

And unidentified corpses should be handled by specialists of the Ministry of Health. And even then, if it was not possible to identify the identity of the deceased or deceased person in other ways within 30 days. In a year of such situations – about 34 thousand.

It is clear that the DNA of the deceased unidentified people is being studied not by ordinary doctors from district polyclinics, but by specialists of the "Russian Center for Forensic Medical Examination" and forensic expert institutions that are part of the state health system.

Today, when more and more people solve their family problems or property disputes in court, genomic registration will be extremely useful not only in criminal, but also everyday situations. Noisy passions are boiling around imaginary or genuine paternity, during the division of property, when the degree of kinship becomes the key issue.

By the way, ordinary people, not criminals, who have lost close relatives, will have to pay 9360 rubles for voluntary genomic registration. The legislators considered that it was too expensive for the treasury to create a nationwide DNA bank for free. But can a poor old pensioner, whose only son has disappeared, for example, afford to pay for the delivery of such tests an amount sometimes exceeding her entire pension?

In a conversation with a correspondent of Rossiyskaya Gazeta, many analysts of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Investigative Committee and the Prosecutor General's Office argued that it was necessary to expand the range of situations where genomic research should be carried out free of charge for victims. Perhaps there will even be a joint document on this matter – for example, a draft law. Voluntary genomic registration is carried out by the same two departments – the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Ministry of Health. These are the "Forensic Center of the Ministry of Internal Affairs" and the "Russian Center for Forensic Medical Examination" together with forensic institutions that are part of the state health system.

An applicant wishing to "genomically register" submits to a forensic expert institution an application, identity documents and place of residence or stay, a certificate of payment for this service. At the same time, information card forms are used, samples of which are approved by the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

The procedure itself, that is, obtaining biological material, is carried out by forensic institutions. There, all data is entered into information cards and transferred to the ECC of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. And already there they form a separate segment of the federal database of genomic information and control the accuracy of the information contained in the sent information cards.

Portal "Eternal youth" http://vechnayamolodost.ru22.08.2012

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