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Putin submits bill toughening penalty for illegal prosecution of businesses to State Duma

October 28, 2016, 19:32 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The bill proposes to increase the maximum penalty for the offense from five to seven years of imprisonment

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MOSCOW, October 28. /TASS/. President Vladimir Putin has submitted a bill aimed at tougher responsibility of law enforcement agencies for illegal prosecution of businesses to the State Duma, lower house of parliament.

The text of the document has been placed in the electronic database of the lower house of parliament.

It particular it is proposed to introduce changes to Article 299 of the Criminal Code about prosecution of obviously innocent person to a criminal responsibility. It is proposed to increase the maximum penalty for the offense from five to seven years of imprisonment.

If such a crime implied accusation of a person of committing a grave or especially grave crime or causes a huge damage or other grave consequences, it will punished with imprisonment from five to 10 years.

Besides that a third part to article 299 of the Criminal Code is added - "if an innocent person is charged with a criminal offence in order to hamper his/her business activities or for financial gain or personal interest and this leads to suspension of business activities or causes a huge damage." This will also be punished by imprisonment for a term from five to ten years. The damage the amount of which exceeds 1.5 million rubles will be considered as "huge damage."

"In practice, there are cases when a criminal case is initiated not against a particular entrepreneur but regarding the fact of committing a crime," a memorandum attached to the bill said. According to the memorandum, such cases are investigated within a few months and then dropped, which often leads to partial or complete destruction of business.

"The approval of the federal law will not only provide conditions to avoid possible pressure on the business with criminal prosecution mechanisms, but also will create a favorable business climate in the country," the memorandum said.

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