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State Duma proposal would protect entrepreneurs from recent law criminalizing mafia leadership

Source: State Duma

State Duma Deputy Rifat Shaikhutdinov has introduced a proposal to block a relatively recent law that penalizes organizing or participating in a “criminal community” from being applied in cases of financial crimes. The law in question, Article 210 of the Russian Criminal Codex, was designed to lock up those who hold a high rank in the Russian organized crime hierarchy even if they cannot be charged under other statutes.

The explanatory note attached to Shaikhutdinov’s bill argued that attaching additional criminal penalties to white-collar crime cases by characterizing a business as a criminal group would provide legal grounds for putting suspected financial criminals in jail to await trial, which Russian law currently prohibits.

Government business ombudsman Boris Titov sent a letter asking for such a correction to the “criminal community” law in March, and Vladimir Putin expressed support for the idea during his June 20 call-in. Putin said he hoped to avoid holding entire boards of directors responsible for the crimes of individual members.

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