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    MOSCOW, February 18, 2004 (RIA Novosti) - The State Duma, the lower house of parliament, passed in the fourth reading amendments to the Russian Criminal Code, toughening the anti-terrorism law.

    The amendments extend prison sentences for perpetrating terrorist acts from 8 to 12 and from 10 to 20 years, and from 15 to 20 years in prison or even to life imprisonment for aggravated acts of terrorism.

    The current Criminal Code does not envisage life imprisonment for terrorist acts.

    The bill was advanced by a group of pro-Kremlin United Russia faction deputies.

    432 of the 450 Duma deputies backed the bill, whereas 226 votes are required to pass the bill. Nobody abstained or voted "against".

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