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Fifteen per cent of Russian shopping bill is to cover corruption costs – study

May 05, 2011, 11:55 UTC+3
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GORKI, May 4 (ITAR-TASS)- Russian President Dmitry Medvedev signed into law the amendments in the legislation, which set fines from 25,000 roubles to 500 million roubles for bribes. The president expressed hope at a meeting with Prosecutor General Yuri Chaika that this measure "will make a contribution in the struggle against corruption, the limits and scale of which are threatening."

Medvedev recalled that the introduction of high fines for bribes "is an absolutely new measure of punishment." "This is a quite interesting measure, which can be applied without imprisonment, but creates sound conditions for an offender, who committed a crime, to realize that the state responsibility will be spearheaded not only against him personally, but also against his property and he will suffer in the material way," the president said. "For some people this measure can happen to be more significant than imprisonment," he noted. "No one can doubt that imprisonment, as the major type of punishment for bribery remains and can be pronounced by the court, just the possibilities for punishment are delimitated and alternative responsibility is introduced," the president stated.

The law introduces various types of responsibility for giving a bribe depending on the bribe sum. The bribe term is divided into four types: the so-called ordinary bribe - up to 25,000 roubles, a considerable bribe from 25,000 to 150,000 roubles, a massive bribe from 150,000 to one million roubles and a very massive bribe of over one million roubles.

If a bribe does not exceed 25,000 roubles, the main type of punishment for the bribe is a fine that is from 12 to 60 times higher than the bribe with stripping the briber of the right to occupy some posts or a term in prison up to three years. The fines will be from 80 to 100 times higher than the bribe for a very massive bribe, and if the court sentences a bribe-taker from eight to 15 years in prison with a compulsory fine that will be 70 times higher than the bribe. Alongside, an upper limit of all fines for bribery is no higher than 500 million roubles.

If a public servant takes a bribe (personally or through a mediator) he will be punished by "a fine that will be from 25 to 50 times higher than the bribe" (currently from 100,000 to 150,000 roubles), and if the bribe is major, then a fine can be from 30 to 60 times higher than the kickoff.

A tougher minimal fine was introduced for giving a bribe. This fine will be "from 15 to 30 times higher than the bribe and a probable term of up to two years in prison is envisaged." The maximum sentence under this criminal article will be a fine that is 90 times higher than the bribe or from seven to 12 years in prison against the current fine at 200,000 roubles.

The Russian Criminal Code also introduces a separate article for a mediating role in bribery. This criminal article envisages "the indirect handover of a bribe on the orders from a bribe-giver or a bribe-taker, or the criminal assistance to a bribe-taker or a bribe-giver to reach and implement a bribery agreement between them." The convict will have to pay a fine that will be from 15 to 70 times higher than the bribe or from 25,000 to 500 million roubles. Meanwhile, this article envisages stripping the convict of the right to hold some posts and up to seven years in prison with a fine that will be from ten to 60 times higher than the bribe.

The minimal fines were also raised from 2,500 to 5,000 roubles for all crimes, which are punished under the Criminal Code. The minimal punishment in the corruption crimes was also stipulated in the Criminal Code. The minimal fine for a bribe or a commercial bribery will make 25,000 roubles.

The Criminal Code also envisages the cases, when a corruption crime does entail the bribery fact, in other words does not have a monetary equivalent. To give an unbiased assessment of a fine levied from the mediator the punishment under the articles for promising or offering a mediating role in bribery is supplemented with a fine from 25,000 to 500 million roubles and with depriving the offender of the right to occupy some posts or engaged in some activities for a period up to three years.


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