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MOSCOW, September 22 (Itar-Tass) —— The State Duma intends to toughen punishment for car hijacking through cancelling the fines as an alternative penalty and putting this crime in the category of grave crimes in order “to rule out suspended sentences,” author of the amendments, which are being drafted, first deputy chairman of the State Duma Committee for Constitutional Legislation and State Construction Vyacheslav Lysakov (United Russia) told Itar-Tass on Friday.
“The car hijacking problem will be discussed at the next working group (for the improvement of the legislation over the road traffic) during October,” the lawmaker said, noting that this is the 166th Article of the Criminal Code. “I have already drafted the amendments, which toughen sharply responsibility from 5-7 to 15 years, depending from an offence, committed with a threat, without a threat, with the use of violence and as a member of the criminal group,” he said.
“We cancel the fines, make this crime grave in order to rule out suspended sentences,” Lysakov went on to say. “Since the judges sometimes pass suspended sentences, this is a criminal business,” he stated.
The deputy chairman of the committee gave as an example the situation, when the criminal communities “pay for their car hijacker.” “I know a car hijacker, who goes to Europe just to start up a car and bypass all the electronic equipment in the car. He earns 20,000 euros monthly,” he noted. “It is quite easy to pay in the court or to a lawyer, who can defend him quite well so that the criminal would get a suspended sentence,” he said. “If we make it a grave crime, the judge will have to produce the ironclad arguments for a suspended sentence, for instance, the offender has a paralyzed mother, five children and etc. It will be really hard to do,” Lysakov said with confidence.
“I will move it in (the State Duma) in late October after holding the working group in early October. I hope that we will approve it at this autumn session,” the deputy said, noting that “this bill is negotiated with the Interior Ministry.”
Now for the misappropriation of a car or any other vehicle through hijacking the criminal is facing a fine of up to 120,000 roubles or the sum of the salary or any other income of the convict for a period of up to one year, or a term of up to three years in prison or correctional works for up to five years, or a term of up to six months in arrest or a term of up to five years in prison.
The same offence, which was committed by a criminal group through a preliminary conspiracy, with the use of violence, which is not dangerous for the life or health, or a threat for the use of violence is punished with a fine of up to 200,000 roubles or the sum of the salary for a period of up to 18 months, or correctional works of up to five years or a term of up to seven years in prison.
If the car hijacking was committed by an organized criminal group or a particularly major damage was done, the criminal can be put for up to ten years in prison. If the crime was accompanied with the use of violence dangerous for the life or health, or a threat to use this violence, the offender can be put for up to 12 years in prison.