20:58 GMT +317 January 2019
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    State Duma to discuss stripping deputy Pleskachevsky of immunity

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    ST. PETERSBURG, June 3 (RIA Novosti, Maxim Nichiporenko) - On Wednesday the State Duma (lower house) will discuss the issue of stripping deputy Pleskachevsky of his parliamentary immunity, Dmitry Rogozin, chairman of the political party Rodina (Homeland), told journalists on Friday.

    "The Duma should vote for removing him from the post of committee chairman at least for the duration of investigation and adopt an appeal to the United Russia party (where Pleskachevsky is a member) on abstaining from interfering in the investigation," Rogozin said.

    On May 27, Viktor Pleskachevsky, chairman of the State Duma committee on property, was detained in Pulkovo airport of St. Petersburg. RIA Novosti was told by the committee's spokesman that the deputy was found to carry munitions. "Pleskachevsky waived his parliamentary immunity, allowing a personal examination," the spokesman said.

    "The deputy permitted a search in his personal apartment in St. Petersburg," the interlocutor added, refusing to make other comments because investigation was underway.

    Shortly before that, Lieutenant General (Police) Vyacheslav Zakharenkov, head of the Interior Ministry's department of law and order in transport, said that last Sunday a deputy of the State Duma was detained in Pulkovo airport with rounds for a TT gun and for a grenade launcher.

    "The munitions were confiscated and relevant materials forwarded to the prosecutors; the deputy may be called to account," the general said.

    "It should be determined without bias if [the ammunition] had been planted on him, or he carried them willingly, or they belonged to one of his relatives," Rogozin said. "In itself, this is a horrible case."

    He added that he believed that the deputies should not have parliamentary immunity per se. "Immunity should be applied if the deputies suspect that their colleague is persecuted for political reasons," the Homeland leader added.

    Deputy Pleskachevsky said he would openly cooperate with the investigators in the case of ammunition found in his baggage.

    "I will act openly, accepting all requisite actions of the investigation," the deputy told RIA Novosti on Thursday. "It is awful to think that my son could have taken the bag."

    Pleskachevsky refused to comment on how the munitions could appear in his baggage.

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