MOSCOW, May 27 (RAPSI) – Russia’s business ombudsman Boris Titov has asked President Vladimir Putin to support efforts to make release on bail the primary choice in respect of pre-trial restrictions applicable to businesspersons, the Presidential press-service informs on Monday.

The business rights commissioner believes that the position of the President will be instrumental in persuading the Supreme Court of Russia to instruct lower courts to choose release on bail as the first available option when deciding on pre-trial restrictions in cases involving entrepreneurs or at least substantiate the rulings prescribing harsher interim measures.

“This interim measure is applied in many countries. We have Article 106 of the Criminal Procedure Code, which stipulates the use of bail, and it is used today, but not very often,” Titov said at a meeting with the President.

Vladimir Putin in turn supported the ombudsman’s views. “As for bail, we need to carefully analyze the situation and see. The amount of bail is certainly important here. You understand, if a suspected crime costs billions, and the bail amount is only 10 kopecks, it is not going to work. On the other hand, it could indeed be an effective tool to investigate the case effectively, while at the same time allowing the company to continue their operations, not having to halt production and not having to dismiss people,” the statement quotes the President as saying.

According to the commissioner for entrepreneurs’ rights, so far, more than 80 percent of those responding to a yearly survey among entrepreneurs do not believe business in Russia to be a safe occupation.

As many as 54 percent of the respondents, Titov noted, said they went out of business as a result of the opening of a criminal case, while over 60 to 64 percent said prosecution even affected their health. “It would certainly be better to have an opportunity of applying other restrictive measures, not only to entrepreneurs, but to everyone,” the business ombudsman told the President.