Supreme Court Chairman justifies removal of defamation provisions
MOSCOW, July 18 - RAPSI. Supreme Court Chairman Vyacheslav Lebedev believes it is right to exclude the provision on imprisonment for defamation from legislation, because the provision previously did not work in practice.
On Wednesday, the Federation Council will consider amendments to the Criminal Code which introduce criminal liability for defamation; the punishment terms will not stipulate imprisonment.
The amendments were supported by 238 deputies, while 91 voted against.
By the second reading, the deputies had removed custodial punishment from the amendments, but significantly raised the fines to a maximum of 5 million rubles ($154,295).
Slander or libel in a public speech, a public work, or the media will no longer carry a 200,000 ruble ($6,170) fine, but rather a fine of up to 1 million rubles ($30,860). Defamation combined with abuse of office will be punished by up to 2 million rubles ($61,720) instead of 300,000 rubles ($9,260).
Defamation in conjunction with accusations of a grave crime may entail a maximum 5 million ruble ($154,295) fine, which is 10 times higher than the sum previously proposed.
The amendments will also add an article to the Criminal Code stipulating a fine of up to 2 million rubles ($61,720) for slander against a judge, a jury member, a prosecutor, an investigator or a bailiff during court proceedings.