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The opposition politician may lose deputy powers without any trial

September 03, 2012, 12:39 UTC+3
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State Duma deputy from A Just Russia Gennady Gudkov may be deprived of deputy powers without a court verdict. At a session of the lower house of Russian parliament that opened on Monday the fate of the oppositionist, who is suspected of illegal business, will be considered about on September 12. The Prosecutor General’s Office supported United Russia, which insisted on depriving the oppositionist politician of a deputy mandate, in a special message to the State Duma, which substantiated the need for such measure.

The State Duma received an address on behalf of Prosecutor General Yuri Chaika over deputy Gennady Gudkov’s violations of the conditions to exercise his powers and ethical norms, the deputy told the Kommersant daily about it. The general prosecutor found it expedient that the State Duma considered the deprivation of his deputy mandate for business, reiterating the conclusions of the Investigation Committee, he said. The detectives found that in 2008 the deputy became the co-founder of the Kolomensky Builder limited liability company and manages this and other agencies. Gennady Gudkov noted that no law enforcer even “spoke” to him on this issue, he estimated the actions of the prosecutor as a sanction for “an unjust reprisal.”

For all the years of his work the State Duma stripped the deputy of his powers only once, the Kommersant daily recalled. This was the creator the first Russian financial pyramid MMM Sergei Mavrodi. In October 1994 he was elected in the State Duma from the one-mandate constituency.

United Russia deputy Alexander Khinshtein told the newspaper that the law envisages only two types of addresses of the leadership of the Prosecutor General’s Office and the Investigation Committee in the State Duma – a request of the general prosecutor for the deprivation of the deputy of deputy immunity or a request of the Investigation Committee for the authorization to open a criminal case. It is illegal to deprive the deputy of his powers without the guilty verdict of the court, the deputy believes.

“To find the fact that Gudkov ran his business, a court verdict, rather than a request from the prosecutor is needed,” State Duma deputy and head of the legal service of the Russian Communist Party Vadim Solovyev stated. “Otherwise, United Russia, which has a majority of votes, can oust all their political rivals, who were elected by people, in a simple vote.” The Communist noted that “up to 90% of United Russia deputies run business at full scale” and this does not hamper them to work as deputies as well.

Meanwhile, Gennady Gudkov sent 50 letters to United Russia deputies with the appeals not to vote for a political manhunt, the Novye Izvestia daily reported. “These letters are not a petition in any way,” Gennady Gudkov’s son, deputy Dmitry Gudkov explained. “These letters contain only an appeal to be present at the session hall on September 12 and vote according to their views and convictions,” he said.

Gennady Gudkov’s lawyers believe that influential United Russia deputies, to whom the deputy sent his addresses, can change the debates inside the party. “I am convinced that there will be some people, who will not vote, as they will be said to do so from the Kremlin,” Dmitry Gudkov stated. “One thing is that you wait, keep silent and do not stick your neck out, and another thing is when you are said: let’s cut the heads off now.”

The Izvestia daily reported that already on September 12 the deprivation of Gennady Gudkov of a deputy mandate can be considered at a meeting of the lower house of Russian parliament. However, it is still unclear how the question will be formulated.

For the first time in the history of modern Russia the State Duma deputy will be stripped of a deputy mandate almost for sure just for political reasons, the Novaya Gazeta daily reported. The State Duma ceased to be a venue for debates a long time ago. The business smear war between the deputies is in full swing. Trying to protect their fellow deputy, A Just Russia deputies are spreading actively the information about the illegal participation in business or suspicious financial transactions by United Russia deputies. Meanwhile, the outcome of this information war is predetermined, “If Gennady Gudkov had not gone to the opposition rallies and had not appealed to the change of power, he would perfectly have combined the business with his work as a deputy further on.”

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