Gudkov: law on adding greater punitive measures for leaders of organized criminal networks to crack-down business
The oppositional politician believes the bill on strengthening of criminal penalties for leaders of the criminal world that passed the first reading by the State Duma is not going to crack-down organized crime, but entrepreneurship.
Gennady Gudkov noted on his Facebook page that Russian entrepreneurs who become defendants in a criminal case are also frequently accused of creation of an organized criminal network. As soon as the new law is in effect, the amount of this kind of criminal cases, in his opinion, is going to increase, because since the punitive measures are greater, the amounts corruptionists will start demanding from the accused entrepreneurs for termination of prosecution are going to increase, as well.
“Some active fools were happy: now, Russia’s number one members of the Mafia are going to be brought to heel; their good life’s over. Dream on! This is a new ‘choker’ for you, entrepreneurs, because it’s impossible to legally carry on business in Russia. Say you’ve never paid bribes or kicked back? You haven’t ever given a kickback to officials for treatment, lunches and dinners at high-end restaurants with good cognac and cured fillet? Now, it’s going to be like this: once you’re a director (CEO, chief financial officer etc.) - get ready for a ‘fifteen’ or a ‘tenner’ with a little luck,” the politician assumes.
In his words, almost every inspection towards business structures in Russia ends up with a criminal case.
“Piles of directors and employees are being arrested on charges of “plotting a criminal design” within “an organized criminal network they had founded.” One signed something, another one brought payments to a bank, the third one transferred cash, the fourth one put it in envelopes etc. So, get your fifteen and sign! I believe the price for stopping inspections and initiating criminal cases will rocket which means the judicial and law enforcement establishment will get even more richer. Number of illegal takeovers in the country will grow, and entrepreneurs who are taken hostage will buy conditions for the voluntary cooperation with investigation. And judges will feel relief: why spend the service time on a trail, examination of evidence, expertise and listen to witnesses’ murmuring - when all arrested have already confessed?” Gudkov writes.
The current amendment of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation implies creation of a criminal community shall be punishable of up 20 years of imprisonment. In case a crime is committed by a party holding a senior position in criminal hierarchy, the maximum penalty would be life in prison. According to the new bill proposed by the President of Russia Vladimir Putin, leaders of organized criminal networks and ‘thieves in law’ are going to be sentenced to 8-15 years of imprisonment and a 5 million rubles ($76 thousand) fine just for the fact they are the leaders of organized criminal networks. With that, the RF Criminal Code is being complemented with article 210.1 - Holding a senior position in criminal hierarchy. However, it is not specified how exactly leaders are going to be identified. Presidential Plenipotentiary in the State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation Harry Minkh says the identification of ‘thieves in law’ is going to be carried out on the basis of “a set of circumstances” based on “a complex evaluation.”