MOSCOW, September 6 (RAPSI) — All criminal articles that relate to fraud in business should be canceled, Chairman of the Board of the Association of Lawyers of Russia (ALR) Vladimir Gruzdev has said addressing the 7th Eastern Economic Forum taking place in Russia’s Vladivostok.

Surely, there is such a crime as fraud, and it is to be criminally prosecuted. However, if two entrepreneurs enter into an agreement, and then one of them thinks that something went wrong and files a claim against his or her partner, such cases should not be qualified as crimes. If it is not possible to accomplish this immediately, Gruzdev said, stressing that he believes that exactly in this period it is time to take such a radical step, then the first stage of such a dispute resolution needs to be arbitration, and then the respective tribunal decision should be seen as res judicata for initiating or not initiating a criminal case.

Unfortunately, the Chairman of the ALR Board noted, currently this form of issue preclusion in criminal trials via arbitration practically does not work.

On the other hand, prejudice in criminal proceedings easily works in all civil cases. This is a curved mirror. If entrepreneurs are needed for the economy, this layer of people needs to be protected, Gruzdev stressed.

According to the ALR Board Chairman, the government’s attempts to release the entrepreneur from criminal liability are not quite successful.

There were introduced special elements of crime in the Criminal Code; nevertheless entrepreneurs are detained as before, even despite all the appeals of the President of Russia and the decisions of the Supreme Court, Gruzdev concluded.