Legislators propose increasing prison term for corruption related crimes
MOSCOW, June 7 (RAPSI) - Irina Yarovaya, head of the State Duma anticorruption committee, has put forward a bill increasing the punishment for corruption and misappropriation of government funds, Yarovaya told reporters on Friday.
The bill also gives a definition of a "corruption crime." At the moment, a corrupt individual may be taken to court for fraud, but there was no notion of a corruption crime in Russian legislation.
It also adds a specific article to the Criminal Code on misappropriation of federal budget funds, extra-budgetary funds, and funds of state companies and corporations.
The initiative calls for punishing individuals convicted of these crimes with five years of compulsory labor, or up to 7 years in prison, in addition to a fine of up to 500,000 rubles (circa $16,000). If a crime also involved abuse of office, a state or municipal contract, a state defense contract, or if a major sum was embezzled, the prison term may be extended from 7 to 12 years, and the fine increased to 3 million rubles (around $93,000). If the case concerns embezzlement on a very large scale, the individual may face 8 to 15 years in prison and a fine of 3-5 million rubles (circa $93,000-$156,000).
The Kremlin launched a much-vaunted anti-corruption campaign last fall, promising to limit the right of legislators and state officials to own assets abroad, purging several lawmakers over allegations of illegal business activity and implicating then-Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov in a large-scale corruption case.
The Transparency International global watchdog estimated the cost of corruption in Russia at $300 billion in 2012, placing Russia 133rd out of 174 countries in its Corruption Perceptions Index last year.