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Russian president signs law reinforcing former presidents’ immunity

MOSCOW, RUSSIA - JUNE 26, 2019: Russia's President Vladimir Putin holds a meeting of the State Council at the Moscow Kremlin to discuss road network development and road traffic safety issues. Mikhail Metzel/TASS

MOSCOW, Dec 23, 2020, TASS. Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a law that reinforces the immunity guarantees for former presidents. The law has been published at the official legal information website Tuesday (Dec 22), TASS reported.

The law amends the procedure of withdrawal of ex-president’s immunity. Under the new law, the State Duma must press charges of treason or other grievous crime, while the compliance with the procedure must be confirmed by the Supreme and Constitutional Courts. Based on those charges, the Federation Council will make a decision.

Previously, pressing charges against an ex-president was the authority of the Investigative Committee. The charges then were supposed to be forwarded to the State Duma, who gave its consent, and then the issue was supposed to be reviewed by the Federation Council.

The law stipulates that a former president could not be brought to administrative or criminal responsibility, could not be apprehended, arrested, searched or interrogated. Previously, these protections only covered actions, carried out during the time in office or investigations of actions, connected to presidential duties.

Previously, Federation Council Committee on legislation and state building chairman Andrei Klishas noted that the bill was prepared in order to synchronize the current legislation with the amended Constitution. The senator explained that the ex-presidential immunity covers his residence, and offices, his transport, communications, papers, luggage and correspondence.

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