Russian parliament’s lower house adopts ombudsmen witness immunity bill
MOSCOW, April 17 (RAPSI) – The lower house of Russian parliament, the State Duma, adopted a bill granting the privilege of witness to Russia’s and regional human rights commissioners in a final third reading on Friday.
Amendments are to be introduced into Russia’s Civil Procedure and Criminal Procedure Codes.
The witness immunity is supposed to be apply to the Russian federal ombudsman and rights commissioners in the Russian Federation subjects. According to the bill, they would have a right to withdraw testimony in relation to information they received on duty in civil and criminal trials.
Currently, only Russia’s High Commissioner for Human Rights has such a privilege in civil proceedings.
Moreover, the draft law envisages a special order of proceedings in criminal cases against ombudsmen. In accordance with these amendments, chiefs of the Investigative Committee’s regional investigations directorates would be authorized to take decisions on the launch of criminal cases against regional ombudsmen.