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Bill On Ex-Presidents' Immunity Proposed By Two Russian Lawmakers

Russian President Vladimir Putin (file photo)
Russian President Vladimir Putin (file photo)

Two Russian lawmakers have proposed a draft law on the extension of immunity for former presidents and their family members.

The bill prepared by Andrei Klishas, a member of the Russian parliament's upper chamber, the Federation Council, and a member of the lower chamber, the State Duma, Pavel Krasheninnikov, was proposed for debate on November 5.

The official proposal says the bill was prepared in accordance with constitutional amendments initiated by President Vladimir Putin and adopted earlier this year in a national vote.

According to the draft law, with the exception of serious crimes, former presidents cannot be held responsible or prosecuted for actions taken during, before, or after their presidential terms.

The existing law on the immunity of former presidents adopted in 2001 guarantees immunity to former presidents from prosecution for actions taken during their time in office.

In the event of accusations of a serious crime, according to the draft law, a special commission must be formed to investigate the accusations and at least two-thirds of each of the parliament chambers must approve the prosecution of a former president.

According to the constitutional amendments adopted this year, former presidents can become life-long members of the Federation Council, who also enjoy immunity.

The amendments also gave Putin, who has run the country as president or prime minister since 1999, the right to rule the country until 2036 via two more elections.

Currently, there is only one former Russian president in the country -- Dmitry Medvedev, who served as president between 2008 and 2012 while Putin was prime minister.

Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev does not have the status of former Russian president.

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