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08:52 GMT +3 hours20 December 2014
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Russian deputies suggest branding bribe takers

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Russia's Liberal Democratic Party has suggested branding bribe takers with indestructible tags as a way of solving the country's deep-set corruption problem.

Russia's Liberal Democratic Party has suggested branding bribe takers with indestructible tags as a way of solving the country's deep-set corruption problem.

Party Deputies Sergei Ivanov and Igor Lebedev introduced a bill to Russia's State Duma (lower house of parliament) on Tuesday suggesting changes to the Russian Criminal Code.

The deputies suggested branding the left hands of corrupt officials with the Russian letter K for "bribe taker". They also proposed expanding the list of those subject to paying fines for giving or taking bribes to include government officials and local government employees.

They said that those who have served sentences on corruption charges do not have criminal records and so are not restricted when applying for jobs.

"The authors of the bill believe that branding bribe takers with indestructible marks in a visible place to show that they have committed a crime will enable employers to refuse them employment," the lawmakers said.

The Russian government and Supreme Court have criticized the initiative.

The Berlin-based non-governmental anti-corruption organization Transparency International has persistently rated Russia one of the most corrupt nations in the world. In the 2009 Corruption Perception Index, Russia was ranked 146th of 180, below countries like Togo, Pakistan and Libya. The United States was ranked 19th.

A total of 4,500 corruption cases were brought to court in the first half of 2009 in Russia, with 532 public officials and 700 law enforcers convicted.

Shortly after coming to office in 2008, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev declared corruption the number one threat to modern Russian society and vowed to significantly tighten anti-corruption laws.

Medvedev signed a bill in April on the creation of a national anti-corruption program for 2010-2011 aimed at eliminating corruption, including among top officials.

MOSCOW, September 21 (RIA Novosti)