Legislators restore 'defamation' article in Criminal Code
MOSCOW, July 13 - RAPSI. The State Duma adopted amendments to the Criminal Code restoring the "defamation" article in the third reading on Friday.
The amendments were supported by 238 deputies, while 91 voted against the initiative.
By the second reading, the deputies removed custodial punishment from the amendments, but significantly raised the fines up to 5 million rubles ($153,000).
Slander or libel in a public speech, a public work, or the media will no longer carry a 200,000 ruble ($6,000) fine, but rather a fine of up to 1 million rubles ($30,500). Defamation combined with abuse of office will be punished by up to 2 million rubles ($61,000) instead of 300,000 rubles ($9,000).
Defamation in conjunction with accusations of a grave crime may entail a maximum 5 million ruble ($153,000) 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 ($61,000) for slander against a judge, a jury member, a prosecutor, an investigator or a bailiff during court proceedings.