MOSCOW, December 17 (RAPSI) - The State Duma on Tuesday passed in a first reading the amnesty draft submitted by Russian President Vladimir Putin.  The amnesty is arranged to coincide with the 20th anniversary of the Constitution of the Russian Federation.

The bill was submitted to Russia's lower house of Parliament on December 9. According to the draft, amnesty would not apply to those convicts, who were found guilty under the third and fourth parts of article 160 (embezzlement) of Russian Criminal Code. It would not also apply to individuals who committed intentional crimes and disturbed the peace in prisons along with people who committed crimes which pose serious threats to the public.

The document was drafted by the Presidential Council for Human Rights.

The second reading is scheduled for December 18.