Corrupt officials justified twice as often as other criminals
The total percentage justified by the Russian court in 2016 is 0.36%.
Russian courts justify corrupt officials twice as often as others. This conclusion can be drawn from the statistics presented on the website of the judicial department of the Supreme Court. The percentage of justified for 2016 amounted to 0.36% or 2640 of the 743.020 accused. Every year this number is declining: in 0.43% of the accused were acquitted in 2015, 0.54% a year earlier. Vedomosti reports this.
Of the 475 people suspected of abuse of office, 10 was justified, i.e. 2.1% (2.5% in 2015). Of the 1410 people accused of exceeding their official powers, 22 people are justified - 1.6%. Among the alleged bribe-takers, 1.1% was found to be innocent. This is 3 times more than the number of justified bribe givers: from 5359 people five were acknowledged as innocent (0.14%), and in 2015 there were three of 5219 (0.06%).
The highest percentage of acquittals was among those accused of falsifying elections. Of the 23 people involved in the articles of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation related to the violation of the legislation on elections (articles 141, 142 and 142.1 of the Criminal Code), two were found innocent, which is 8.7%.
Co-chairman of Golos (Voice) Grigory Melkonyants connects this situation with the administrative resource used in the election fraud. In addition, Russian law enforcement officers do not associate this violation of the law with corruption, considering it rather as "internal disassembly." At the same time, Melkonyants specifies, in the world legal practice there is a separate concept of "electoral corruption".
The representative of the Supreme Court, Pavel Odintsov, looks at the situation differently: according to him, violators of election laws are often representatives of the elite, which allows them to receive the help of a professional lawyer.
Another problem of such cases is the evidence base. In most cases, it is operational material received in violation of the law, and therefore they cannot be used in court. Also, in case of discrepancies in the charge between the ICR and the Prosecutor's Office, the latter often refuses the charge.
A former federal judge points in a conversation with Vedomosti to the imperfection of legislation. In particular, in the article of the Criminal Code on abuse of power, there is the notion of "substantial violation of rights". Each judge is free to interpret in his own way what kind of violation is considered essential.
Ilya Shumanov, the deputy general director of Transparency International - Russia, spoke about the case from his legal practice. In May 2016, anti-corruption activists managed to get the case against the Head of the Nemansky district Administration, Sergey Voskovchuk. The local court acquitted him, but a higher authority overturned this verdict. In April 2017, the court found him guilty, but soon amnestied.