MOSCOW, October 15 (Itar-Tass) - Passing of a presidential bill proposing to commit relatives of terrorists to reimbursing damage they caused will make participation in terrorist groups unprofitable, the chair of the State Duma lower house committee for security and the fight against corruption said in comments on the bill going through its first reading on Tuesday.
“Undoubtedly, terrorism today is one of the most serious global threats,” United Russia party's Irina Yarovaya said. “Using international experience, analyzing the practice of foreign legislation, Russia has the possibility to take additional measures that will help fight terrorism,” she said.
The parliamentarian noted that state agencies would have the right to check sources that terrorists’ relatives used to buy property. In the event that sources were questionable, “materials will be sent to prosecution agencies, including for the possibility to seize that property in a judicial procedure,” she said, adding that such measures were already applied in Germany, France and China, and noting that “they have fully proved their value”.
Merely studying terrorist methods and joining a criminal community would also be pursued and punished by law, the lawmaker said. “Innovations offered by the president leave the possibility for active repentance, for giving up criminal activity. “This is very important,” she said.
“Our task is to make participation in criminal-terrorist communities unprofitable, not attractive, through developing new legislation including punishment for the next-of-kin and property responsibility,” she said. “Undoubtedly, the influence of the family is very important for those people who are inclined to such crimes and to joining criminal groups.”
The first deputy head of United Russia’s faction in the lower house, Otari Arshba, said the bill was timely. “Like a tumor, terrorism is constantly metastasizing, changing its shape,” he told a Duma session on Tuesday. “We must shape as a law what our colleagues have tried and tested in practice,” he said.
He agreed that there were certain legal and technical issues attached to the bill. “Work on them is already in progress and we will take them into consideration when it goes through the second reading,” he said.
First deputy chairman of the security committee Khozh Magomed Vakhayev was confident that the bill was “very important and necessary, all the more as we have been fighting terrorist groups, especially in the North Caucasus, for decades”.
“I don’t understand why we did not submit that bill 10, 15 or 20 years ago,” he said. “I believe people, especially in the North Caucasus, will welcome the bill.” Voting on amendments is due on Tuesday evening.