Upper house of Russian parliament backs long prison terms for gang leadership
MOSCOW, March 27 (RAPSI) – The upper house of Russian parliament on Wednesday approved a bill on imprisonment of up to 20 years for organizing, leading criminal gangs and participating in such networks, according to a statement released on the Federation Council’s website.
The State Duma passed the draft law on March 14. The document was submitted to the lower house of parliament by President Vladimir Putin in mid-February.
Under the legislative initiative, gang leaders would face prison sentence ranging from 8 to 15 years with fines of up to 5 million rubles ($75,000) and supervised release for a term of up to 2 years. Suspended sentence would be prohibited for such persons.
Crime boss meetings would be punishable by prison terms of up to 20 years with fines of up to 5 million rubles.
Moreover, according to the bill, fines for participating in criminal organizations would be increased up to 3 million rubles, while prison punishment would be ranged from 7 to 10 years. Currently, fines of up to 500,000 rubles and imprisonment from 5 to 10 years are stipulated for these crimes.
The said crimes committed with the use of official position would be punished with fines of up to 5 million rubles instead of present 1 million rubles. Prison sentence would remain the same, from 15 to 20 years.
The most dangerous and serious crimes are committed by criminal groups, an explanatory note to the bill reads. Gang leaders usually coordinate criminal wrongdoing, create stable criminal links between different organized groups, divide up spheres of criminal influence and ill-gotten gains, direct criminal activities and therefore pose the highest public danger. However, they generally escape liability, according to the draft law.