Friday, October 28, President Vladimir Putin submitted a bill to toughen responsibility of law enforcement for unreasonable criminal prosecution of entrepreneurs. Amendments to article 299 of the Criminal code of Russian Federation (the criminal code; attraction obviously innocent to criminal responsibility) it is proposed to increase the term of imprisonment from five to seven years. If this has led to major damage or “other serious consequences”, the penalty can be from five to 10 years. Major damage is 1.5 million rubles, the document says.
The article is supplemented also a new composition: “illegal initiation of proceedings, if the act is committed in order to obstruct business activities or from mercenary or other personal interest that caused the termination of business activities or causing major damage.” For it is proposed to punish with imprisonment for a term of five to 10 years.
Preliminary investigation in cases brought under article 169 of the criminal code (hindrance to legal entrepreneurial and other activities) by presidential amendments is transferred from the interior Ministry Investigative Committee of Russia (TFR).
The bill will help to reduce the number of cases where entrepreneurs the results of the investigation of prosecutions, though not deprived of their liberty, but lost business, follows from the explanatory notes to the bill. “In practice, the common cases when a criminal case is initiated not in relation to a specific entrepreneur, but in fact committing the crime. Such cases are investigated for several months and then stop, which often leads to partial or complete destruction of the business”, — the document says.
About this issue repeatedly reported by the entrepreneurs themselves. In the annual report of the business Ombudsman Boris Titov on the state’s business climate says that in 2015, law enforcement agencies have identified the order of 255 thousand economic crimes — the highest since 2010, there were over 234 thousand criminal cases. But not all cases completed: the number of convicts last year was 35 thousand, reported earlier .
Putin during his address to the Federal Assembly in December 2015, called to improve the quality of the investigation and cited statistical data showing that of the 200 thousand excited in 2014 for economic crimes cases ended with a conviction “only 15 percent”. “The vast majority, 83% of entrepreneurs, which were instituted criminal proceedings, completely or partially lost business. That is, they oppressively, robbed and released,” — said Putin.
Often criminal proceedings are instituted for the sole purpose of destruction of business or extortion, said United Russia Deputy of the state Duma Committee on legislation Rafael Mardanshin. According to him, Putin proposed amendments to the criminal code will help to create a system that will reduce the number of cases brought against knowingly innocent persons. co-Chairman of “Business Russia” Andrei Nazarov and Mardanshin agree: the bill, as he said , has an important preventive function.