MOSCOW, June 19 (RAPSI) - The Russian Supreme Court's Judicial Department has released its statistics on convictions of corruption crimes, Rossiyskaya Gazeta reports on Wednesday.
Over the past year, 6,014 individuals have been convicted of corruption. Of that number, 506 were sentenced to various prison terms, from less than one year (101 individuals) to 8-10 years (only eight convicts).
Meanwhile, the majority of convicted bribe takers, the most common corruption crime, were fined, with penalties set at ten times the amount they were planning to receive, or more. Those who offered bribes to officials also faced large fines.
According to Doctor of Law Ivan Solovyov, member of the State Duma Security and Anticorruption Committee, "the corruption vertical has been shaken and many corrupt schemes destroyed," largely due to the huge fines. This is the best preventive policy, he said.
However, at this stage, no more than 27% of fines have been actually collected, the lawmaker said. Only 155 million rubles ($4.9 million) have been transferred to the state, out of the 2 billion rubles ($62.7 million) stipulated by court rulings. The rest will be paid in installments over five years.
Moreover, half of the convicted corrupt persons have asked the court to replace the fine with a prison term because they cannot afford to pay, Solovyov said.
Last year, 76 individuals were convicted of taking bribes in excess of 1 million rubles ($31,400), and 926 people were caught accepting less than 500 rubles ($15.70).
The Supreme Court is currently working on a draft resolution on bribes and other corruption crimes, Rossiyskaya Gazeta reports. In particular, the resolution proposes to deem situations in which an official is given money from an individual as a "gesture of thanks" as bribery.