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New penalties for crime bosses receive unanimous approval in first Duma vote

Meduza

A new bill introduced by Russian President Vladimir Putin to the country’s State Duma has passed its first reading and been accepted for consideration with a vote of 406 – 0. The bill would officially criminalize holding a high rank in the hierarchy of a criminal organization, an act that currently merits no special punishment in Russian criminal law.

The proposal must now pass second and third readings in the Duma before it becomes law. During that process, changes and amendments may be made to the bill, which currently proposes a prison sentence of 8 – 15 years for criminal leaders.