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MOSCOW, February 18 (Itar-Tass) – The State Duma has proposed new measures aimed at further humanising criminal legislation for entrepreneurs.
The initiatives were presented by MPs from the ruling United Russia party at a briefing on Monday, February 18.
“First of all, it is necessary to determine the maximum duration of an arrest for a person charged in a criminal case and to change restrictive measures for such persons,” Rafael Mardanshin, a member of the Duma Committee on Civil, Criminal Arbitration and Procedural Legislation said.
He believes it necessary to “set the maximum term of arrest for a suspect not only before the trial, for such rule already exists, but also after his case goes to court.” “After the end of such maximum period, the restrictive measure should be changed from arrest to something else,” he added.
Another proposal is that “the decision on the restrictive measures should be made not by the judge who is examining the case but by another judge.” “Currently the situation is such that if the judge who is examining the case has repeatedly extended the restrictive measure, this binds him in implementing the ruling in the case. There is little chance that he will change his mind,” Mardanshin said.
The participants in the briefing recalled the criminal case opened in 2007 against entrepreneur Katsiv and his associates in Rostov on Don, who were charged with “fraud”. Since then the businessman has been held in the pre-trial prison. On December 26, 2012, Rostov’s Kirovsky District Court extended his detention for the fourteenth time.
Mardanshin stressed that the United Russia MPs involved in the party project titled “Civic Control” intend to monitor the Katsiv case. “If the restrictive measure applied to the entrepreneur is not changed, it would be advisable to file a parliamentary inquiry to the Prosecutor General or the chairman of the Investigation Committee, asking for their personal interference in the case,” the MP said.
“This case is drawing a lot of attention and facts of gross violation of law become public. Procedural violations registered in this case must be stopped and the people who allowed them must be punished,” Mardanshin said.
The Russian president’s commissioner for the protection of the rights of entrepreneurs, Boris Titov, said that “one of the fundamental human rights has been violated – the right to a reasonable term of custody after indictment.” “If the prosecution cannot make its case and if the case gets delayed, there is no need to keep a person in prison,” he said, adding that “there many other restrictive measures such as home arrest, bail, recognisance not to leave the city.”
On February 7, Titov and Civic Control Head, United Russia faction leader in the Duma Vladimir Vasilyev signed an agreement on cooperation in protecting the rights of entrepreneurs. It will allow them to exchange information on such violations and work out a set of measures to prevent them. They also intend to pool efforts in improving legislation that should protect the rights of entrepreneurs.