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Supreme Court to consider complaint of MP Bessonov

November 08, 2012, 5:03 UTC+3

A total of 281 MPs voted for the lawmaker's stripping of immunity and 158 - against

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MOSCOW, November 8 (Itar-Tass) — Russia's Supreme Court on Thursday will consider a complaint of MP from the Communist Party (CPRF) against the decision of the State Duma lower house of parliament to strip him of immunity for the opening of a criminal case against him on suspicion of beating a policeman.

Bessonov states in his appeal that the State Duma resolution in its content and adoption procedure contradicts the Russian Constitution.

A total of 281 MPs voted for the lawmaker's stripping of immunity and 158 - against.

The decision was made by open electronic voting. According to the Duma rules of procedure, the vote on the parliamentary immunity issue should be secret. However, at the suggestion of members of the United Russia and LDPR (Liberal Democratic) factions, the lawmakers changed the procedure.

Russian Prosecutor General Yuri Chaika made a representation on Bessonov to the Duma.

His first deputy Alexander Buksman explained to the MPs at the meeting that according to the materials submitted to the Prosecutor General’s Office, the actions of Bessonov have the signs of a crime under Article 318 of the RF Criminal Code – “use of violence against public officers,” according to which the maximum penalty is imprisonment for up to 10 years. According to him, these materials refer to an unauthorised rally staged by the Communist Party branch in Bolshaya Sadovaya Street in Rostov-on-Don from 16:00 to 18:00 on December 2 last year (in front of the building of the staff of the RF presidential envoy to the Southern Federal District).

Buksman stressed that the rally was not sanctioned, of which the city administration informed its participants, but they did not comply with the demands of the police officers to stop the unauthorised action, and when the policemen tried to turn off the sound-amplifying equipment, “Vladimir Bessonov started to push a police officer.”

“He fell on the steps of the building and sustained bodily injuries and his uniform was damaged,” the representative of the Prosecutor General’s Office said. When the chief of the injured tried to turn off the equipment, according to the materials, Bessonov also started to push him away and struck him on the face and also damaged his uniform. According to the conclusion of experts, the policemen got light injuries that caused their temporary incapacity for work.

“In addition, the uniform damage was also recorded – (torn off) buttons, stars of the shoulder boards,” Buksman added. According to him, all this was recorded on video, as well as witnessed by policemen and bystanders. In particular, the presented video record that has no traces of editing shows Bessonov running up to policeman Grachev and aiming a blow at him.”

On June 29, the speaker of the State Duma received a request from Russian Prosecutor General Yuri Chaika in which he asked the lower house of parliament “give consent to stripping Bessonov of parliamentary immunity opening proceedings against him, as the reasons for the opening of a criminal case against him have been found.” It was already a second request regarding Bessonov. On June 18, the Russian Investigative Committee (SK) sent to Duma speaker Sergei Naryshkin a request for the house consent to the institution of criminal proceedings against the Communist MP, but the documents were returned, as it was found after a check that only the prosecutor general can make such representations to the State Duma.

In its resolution the State Duma requested the RF Prosecutor General’s Office to monthly inform the lawmakers about the progress of the investigation against Bessonov, in order “not to violate his rights.”

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