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MOSCOW, July 13 (Itar-Tass) —— Russia’s State Duma lower parliament house on Friday passed an anti-defamation bill envisaging criminal liability for defamation and libel. Relevant amendments to the Russian Criminal Code were passed in the second and third, or final, readings.
Initially, the maximal punishment under the draft law providing for the return of criminal liability for defamation was two years in prison. This provision was however cancelled in the second reading but instead fines were considerably increased. Thus,a maximal fine for a libel accusing a person of committing a grave crime was fixed at five million roubles.