Lower house cracks down on illegal asset ownership by top officials
MOSCOW, November 13 – RAPSI. The State Duma Tuesday considered amendments to legislation aimed at clamping down on the ownership of illegal assets by top officials. Combined, these amendments strengthen and clarify the sanctions that can be imposed against officials who fail to disclose property ownership.
Among the provisions under consideration is an amendment to the Civil Code stating that the federal government can seize assets owned by officials in the event of a failure to prove that the property was obtained legally.
Another provision that may be introduced to the Labor Code states that the failure by any high-ranking official to properly disclose personal income and asset information may serve as grounds for dismissal or for the stripping of official power.
If a given official cannot prove the legality of his or her assets, they will be deemed illegal. Various administrative and criminal sanctions have been proposed, including fines.
The Duma is further seeking to amend the Criminal Code in order to provide for the substitute of sanctions in cases where fines aren’t paid. If an official fails to pay a fine, he will instead be required to undertake a different type of punishment – such as house arrest or community service. Imprisonment will not be substituted for fines.