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Putin intends to cancel liberalization of anti-corruption laws

October 31, 2013, 12:41 UTC+3
Experts recommended adoption of international anti-corruption conventions
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Russian President Vladimir Putin’s statements at a meeting of the Council for Countering Corruption on Wednesday may herald serious legislative changes, the Nezavisimaya Gazeta daily writes.

Expert of the publication, President of the Institute of National Strategy Mikhail Remizov, referring to the opinion of anticorruption experts, forecasts the return to the law of the confiscatory articles, recommended for adoption in Russia by international anticorruption conventions.

Now, the Russian presidential administration is thinking that maybe the liberalisation of the anticorruption legislation, in particular, the replacement of real prison terms with fines, was made in haste, the RBC Daily notes. In the first half of 2013, courts delivered judgements on fines worth 20 billion roubles, a mere 1 percent of which have been paid, Russia's presidential administration chief Sergei Ivanov has calculated.

The size of bribes in separate regions is long known, Putin said at a meeting of the anticorruption council. The most corruption-prone spheres remain the housing and public utilities sector, consumer market and elimination of consequences of natural disasters.

Proposals have been made to return to stricter punishment system, Ivanov admitted. It is proposed to put a person in jail if he fails to pay a fine imposed on him within a reasonable time period. This year, a total of 1.5 million officials and employees of state-run companies submitted their income declarations. As many as 130 thousand officials were subjected to selective checks, 3,000 officials were brought to legal responsibility, 200 officials were fired due to the loss of confidence.

Over the past five years, 242 thousand corruption crimes have been exposed in Russia. The damage they inflicted on the state in 2013 alone is assessed at 10 billion roubles.

The Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper notes that the president was also not impressed by the statistics of the bribe-takers who have been brought to responsibility. In the first six months of 2013, as many as 692 people have been convicted of bribery, but a mere 8 percent of the bribe-takers have been sentenced to real prison terms. Most of them were sentenced to fines.

Chairman of the National Anti-Corruption Committee Kirill Kabanov believes that the “liberalisation” has not worked, because officials were not paying fines, but were withdrawing the stolen funds abroad, the Kommersant daily quotes him as saying.

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