Russia’s Supreme Court has proposed setting economic criminals free once they have admitted their guilt and are ready to compensate for the damage they have caused.
The idea was first tabled by President Medvedev as part of his radical plan to soften Russia’s criminal code.
Medvedev said that economic criminals should not face criminal responsibility for their wrongdoings and that they should not be kept in pre-trial detention.
At present, the law stipulates that economic criminals should be shown leniency once they have admitted their guilt and paid compensation.
Among the main reasons behind the new legislation is the well-known over-crowdedness of Russian prisons.
“Anything that boosts free enterprise will help Russia to develop,” Evgeny Arkhipov, chairman at the Lawyers for Human Rights Association, told RT. “This particular initiative reflects the demands of the current economic climate. In the US, you can go to jail for life, whereas in Russia you can just pay a fine and be done with it. The attitude towards businessmen accused of economic crimes is becoming more liberal.”
The draft law will be submitted to the State Duma in September when the deputies return from summer holidays.