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MOSCOW, May 31 (Itar-Tass) —— Officials charged with corruption must not benefit from humanisation of criminal legislation in Russia, Constitutional Court Chairman Valery Zorkin said at the Eurasian Anti-Corruption Forum on Wednesday, May 30.
He believes that there must be “reasonable sufficiency” and no excesses. “We must keep within limits because lack of punishment is the main reason for the spread of corruption,” he said.
Zorkin said organised crime should be fought as the social basis of corruption in regions. “It would be advisable to go back to the idea of a federal law on combatting organised crime. I do not think that it would be too unique for Russia, as this is still an untheorised fact of our life,” he said.
Another necessary measure is to move form declaring incomes to declaring expenditures in order to ensure greater financial transparency. Russia should also “overcome the immunity enjoyed by different officials when investigating corruption cases”, Zorkin said, adding that it would be possible to return to seizure of property if a property or economic crime has been committed. This measure has been effectively used in China, Spain and the United States.
President Vladimir Putin earlier called for the inevitability of punishment for corruption.
“We must eradicate the fundamental causes of corruption and we must certainly ensure inevitability of punishment for any corruption offence,” Putin said earlier.
“Corruption, clannishness and a merger between government officials, law enforcers and criminal groups are a plague that has afflicted not only the south of the country or the North Caucasus but a considerable part of Russia, and is humiliating for the country,” Putin said.
Inter-ethnic contradictions appear to be most aggressive where “there is an administrative and legal vacuum”, where “government officials and the law enforcement system ignore the law or fail to protect it and often give preferences to certain persons or communities for a reward. Or they distance themselves from acute problems that mysteriously let go of the people who committed grave crimes or cover up for challenging and boorish behaviour,” he said.
“Such situations cause justified irritation and indignation, and compromise the authorities. People feel that they can't get the truth or justice and do not believe that someone can protect them,” Putin said.
He urged public human rights organisations and mass media should to respond to such situations. “Your voice and the position of civil society are an important component contributing to the effectiveness of our joint efforts against corruption,” Putin said.