Bill To Give Russian Presidents Life Immunity Scales First Reading

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Russia's president Vladimir Putin :Getty Images
Bill To Give Russian Presidents Life Immunity Scales First Reading - Vantage News Nigeria
Russia’s president Vladimir Putin :Getty Images

A bill seeking to grant Russia’s presidents life immunity has scaled through at the first reading by the countrys lower house of assembly on Tuesday.

If the bill passes second and third readings then, it shall be sent to the upper house (the Federation Council) and Putin’s signature.

When it becomes law, former presidents of Russia and their families would enjoy a lifetime immunity from persecution for crimes committed during their lifetime. They will also be exempted from searches, arrests or questioning.

This legislation, published on the lower house State Duma website is among constitutional amendments approved this summer in a nationwide vote and will allow President Vladimir Putin to again run for office when his fourth term ends in 2024

Currently, former presidents are only immune from persecution for crimes committed while in office.

However, the bill stipulates that a former president could only be stripped of immunity if accused of treason or other grave crimes and the charges are confirmed by the Supreme and Constitutional courts.

Then both chambers of parliament must support the motion by a two-thirds majority.

Lawmaker Pavel Krasheninnikov, one of the bill’s authors, told state news agency RIA Novosti that the new legislation will not apply to Mikhail Gorbachev, who was president of the Soviet Union until its dissolution in 1991.

As Putin is still in office, Dmitry Medvedev — who was head of state between 2008-2012 — is Russia’s only living former president.

The State Duma on Tuesday also passed in its first reading another bill that will grant ex-presidents a lifetime seat in the Federation Council, a position that also provides immunity from prosecution.

The bills have sparked rumours that Putin, 68, is planning to step down, but the Kremlin denied this saying he is in good health.

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