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Russia's leading oppositionist says will not pay fine if found guilty

August 01, 2012, 18:42 UTC+3

Russia's constituent regions are expected to pass various ancillary regulatory acts by that time

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MOSCOW, August 1 (Itar-Tass) —— Eduard Limonov, one of the leading personalities in Russia's off-parliament opposition, will not pay a fine if the court finds him guilty of participation in an unauthorized public action on Moscow's downtown Triumfalnaya Square.

"I can't pay 300,000 rubles," Limonov said in an interview with the Echo of Moscow radio. "As a replacement, they may sentence me to compulsory works or arrest my property."

A court is expected to hear the case over Limonov's participation in a July 31 unauthorized rally on Triumfalnaya Square August 9. Under the provisions of a new federal law on public actions and meeting, he is facing a fine of around 300,000 rubles.

The State Duma, the lower house of parliament, passed the law late at night June 5 following many hours of debates and the Federation House, the uppse house, endorsed it the next day.

President Vladimir Putin signed the law June 8.

In its initial version, the law envisioned fines of up to 1.5 million rubles for ecnroachments on law and order during mass actions but the size of the fine was eventually reduced to 300,000 rubles for private individuals /versus the 2,000 rubles stipulated in the previous edition of the Code of Administrative Offenses/ and 600,000 rubles for officials /versus 50,000 rubles/.

In addition to the penalties, the law introduces a new type of punishment -- the 20 hours to 200 hours of compusory works for up to four hours a day when a person in question is free from the main work or from college studies.

The law took legal effect at the moment of publication but a number of its clauses will come into force January 1, 2013.

Russia's constituent regions are expected to pass various ancillary regulatory acts by that time.

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