MOSCOW, July 2 (RIA Novosti) – The lower house of Russia’s parliament on Tuesday declared an amnesty for people convicted of white-collar crime for which about 100,000 people are expected to be eligible.
The State Duma's resolution was supported by 298 deputies, with one abstention – well over the required minimum of 226 votes.
The amnesty, which is due to take place during the next six months, will pardon first-time offenders convicted under financial laws and will only apply to convicted persons who compensate those who suffered financial losses as a result of their crime, and whose crimes did not involve the use of violence.
Deciding to hold an amnesty is the exclusive competence of Russia’s State Duma and the document does not need the approval of the upper house of parliament – the Federation Council – or the signature of the Russian president.
Russia’s business ombudsman Boris Titov said on Wednesday that the proposed amnesty would cover about 100,000 people, including 13,500 people serving prison sentences and some “70,000-80,000 people who received suspended sentences or were given fines and other penalties not related to the deprivation of freedom.”
The Duma’s move came just 10 days after President Vladimir Putin called for first-time white-collar criminals to be pardoned before the legislature goes on summer vacation on July 14.