MOSCOW, February 12 (RIA Novosti) – Russia’s Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected an appeal from former lawmaker Gennady Gudkov, who was stripped last year of his parliamentary mandate over his alleged business activities.
Gudkov, a member of the opposition A Just Russia party, said he will appeal to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).
“We will definitely appeal this ruling,” he said, adding that a formal appeal to the ECHR has already been prepared.
Gudkov said that after the Supreme Court’s ruling, he was disappointed with the Russian judicial system, which is “entirely useless.”
A State Duma representative, Vladimir Ponevezhsky, said the Supreme Court’s decision was completely legitimate.
“I believe it was made with due consideration for all European standards; [Gudkov’s] human or civil rights have not been violated and [his] constitutional rights have also been observed,” he said.
The lower house of the Russian parliament, the State Duma, stripped Gudkov of his mandate and parliamentary immunity in September 2012. His supporters claim he was punished for his role in supporting the antigovernment protest movement in Russia in 2011 and 2012.
The Prosecutor General’s Office alleged last year that Gudkov, 56, was suspected of fraudulent business dealings in Bulgaria. State Duma lawmakers are forbidden to get directly involved in commercial activity, but receive legal immunity while serving their terms. Gudkov said at the time that he had suspended his business activities after entering parliament in 2001.
Gudkov and his son Dmitry, both State Duma lawmakers with the leftist A Just Russia party, have featured prominently in the unprecedented protests against President Vladimir Putin that erupted after the disputed parliamentary election in December 2011.