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    Parliament to reconsider immunity of an MP only if prosecutors present evidence

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    MOSCOW, June 3 (RIA Novosti) - The parliament cannot reconsider the parliamentary immunity of Viktor Pleskachevsky unless prosecutors present the relevant evidence, the parliamentary regulation committee said Friday.

    According to Oleg Kovalev, the chairman of the State Duma (lower house) committee, if the Prosecutor General's Office finds reasons to launch criminal proceedings against parliamentarian Pleskachevsky, it will send relevant presentation to the Duma. Kovalev said the Duma had not received any document of the kind yet.

    Pleskachevsky was detained at Pulkovo airport of St. Petersburg after ammunition was found in his luggage on May 27.

    Kovalev found it difficult to predict what the State Duma would decide on the Pleskachevsky incident. He said only that it was not an easy question. "Somebody may keep and smuggle weapons and ammunition deliberately, and it is one thing. But when he [Pleskachevsky] discovered these in his luggage accidentally, it is a different matter," he said.

    Valery Ryazansky, the deputy chairman of the United Russia faction (where Pleskachevsky is a member), said the presidium of the faction would certainly discuss the situation Monday. "We cannot ignore such issues. We will most likely ask ... [Pleskachevsky] how it all came about," said Ryazansky.

    He described the situation as "an absurd incident." "We all know that Pleskachevsky is not a terrorist, and this situation needs to be clarified," he said.

    Earlier, Pleskachevsky said he was "open for investigation" into the discovery of ammunition in his luggage. However, he declined to comment on how the ammunition happened to be in his luggage.

    Spokesmen for the State Duma property management committee also confirmed that Pleskachevsky was detained at Pulkovo airport, St. Petersburg, on May 27, after ammunition was found in his luggage. According to the transport police, another Duma deputy was detained at Pulkovo last Sunday after attempting to smuggle cartridges for a TT pistol and a grenade launcher round.

    "The ammunition was confiscated, and relevant materials have been sent to the prosecutor's office, which is now deciding on bringing [the deputy] to book," said an Interior Ministry spokesman.

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