MOSCOW, April 21 (RAPSI) — The Government Law-Making Commission has approved amendments to the Russian Criminal Procedure Code envisaging certain changes in the procedure governing the initiation of criminal cases over funds allocated for state defense, national projects and state procurement, the Association of Lawyers of Russia informs RAPSI.  

The approved bill was developed by the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation.  

The draft law introduces such changes to the Code of Criminal Procedure, which will allow law enforcement agencies to independently initiate cases over embezzlement in the field of government defense orders and bring involved persons to criminal responsibility under the articles of the Criminal Code concerning fraud, embezzlement, abuse of powers, and so on, Chairman of the Board of the Association of Lawyers of Russia Vladimir Gruzdev said.

To initiate a criminal case, no statement from the victims is to be required, even in cases over abuses in affiliates of state corporations, Gruzdev stressed.

The Chairman of the Association believes that the introduction of changes is aimed at improving the efficiency of government interest protection mechanisms.

Within three years, the damages caused by offenders as revealed in the course of investigation of relevant criminal cases has exceeded 25 billion rubles ($326 million at the current exchange rate), Gruzdev noted.