Russian President grants witness immunity to ombudsmen
MOSCOW, April 24 (RAPSI) – President Vladimir Putin has signed a bill granting the privilege of witness in civil and criminal proceedings to Russia’s and regional human rights commissioners into law, according to the official website of legal information.
Both houses of Russian parliament, State Duma and Federation Council, approved the initiative on April 17.
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 law, they would have a right to withdraw testimony in relation to information they received on duty in civil and criminal trials.
Moreover, the 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.
Previously, only Russia’s High Commissioner for Human Rights has such a privilege in civil proceedings.