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Putin proposes new law to punish crime bosses

Russian president Vladimir Putin has proposed an addition to the country’s criminal codex that would penalize “occupying a high rank in the criminal hierarchy.” The proposal prescribes a prison sentence of 8 – 15 years.

The clarifying note that accompanied Putin’s bill, which has been submitted for consideration to the State Duma, stated that Russian criminal authorities can currently avoid responsibility for their actions “thanks to their position.” “At the same time, current law does not place criminal responsibility on these figures for the fact of their leadership in the criminal hierarchy alone,” the president’s note explained.

Putin also proposed criminalizing participation in the meetings of a criminal organization and tightening current law on organizing or participating in a criminal society. Pavel Krasheninnikov, the chairperson of the Duma’s Legislation Committee, told Interfax the new bill could be approved as soon as next month.