Prosecutor offered to revoke mandate of Sverdlovsk Deputy for proposal to legalize bribes
During the first Youth Forum in Yekaterinburg, which was held in the regional government building and was dedicated to the fight against corruption, member of the Sverdlovsk Legislative Assembly Vyacheslav Vegner proposed to legalize bribes.
According to the official, the proposal to legalize corruption was a joke. However, Prosecutor General in the region Sergey Okhlopkov did not realize that was funny, and offered to revoke the deputy’s mandate, issuing a parliamentarian warning.
The Deputy stated his proposal during the first Youth Forum in a conversation with one of the participants. Vyacheslav Vegner said the following to his opponent: “Since people have always taken bribes, should not we legalize them?” and joked that in this case it would be possible to boost the coffers at the expense of tax deductions.
It is noteworthy that his colleague Oleg Isakov supported the idea expressed by the deputy. He said that corruption should be legalized only if "the income tax would decrease after the inclusion of bribes in business reporting."
After the regional Prosecutor’s Office failed to laugh at the Deputy’s joke, the latter gave detailed explanations to the media about his remarks, saying it was only a joke.
Here is what the official told the media representatives about what happened: “We were discussing bribes at the forum. The KPRF said there was no bribery under Stalin. One of the participants, of youth, objected the bribery have always existed, even during the Stalinist epoch. I recalled that prostitution always has been there too, and some countries have legalized it, paying taxes to the budget for it. So I joked “maybe we should legalize bribes, then?” As long as we accept own powerlessness to combat them.”
He also added that the concept of lobbying should have been withdrawn from the shadows, since it would have positively affected the situation with corruption in the country. Vyacheslav Vegner also assured he did not intend to put forward any legislative initiatives to legalize corruption.
Prosecutor General in the region Sergey Okhlopkov thought the official’s words were not a laughing matter.
“This is wrong, this is criminal; we can already issue a warning. I would generally initiate revocation of this deputy by voters,” the prosecutor stated. He instructed Head of the Department for Supervision over Compliance with Legislation in the Field of Combating Corruption Vladimir Kurochkin to summon Vyacheslav Vegner to the Prosecutor's Office and issue him a warning.