Russia Law Granting Immunity to Former Presidents comes into force

F.P Report

MOSCOW: Russian Law granting immunity to former Russian Presidents has come into force by January 2nd 2020.

According to the Law granting immunity to the presidents, in order to withdraw an ex-president of immunity, the State Duma (lower house) would have to put forward accusations of high treason or gravely serious offences.

 Nevertheless, they would have to be confirmed by the Supreme Court and the Constitutional Court. Based on these accusations, the Federation Council would have to decide on revoking an ex-president’s immunity.

On December 9th, the law was approved by the Russian State Duma and by the Federation Council on December 16. Later it was signed by Russian President Vladimir Putin on December 22, 2020 and published on the same day.

It should be noted that the law enters into force ten days after its publication.

The document states that State Duma’s decision on handing down charges and the Federation Council’s decision on annulling immunity would have to be approved by two-thirds of the votes of all Russian senators and lawmakers at the initiative of at least one-third of the MPs of the lower house and if there is a conclusion of a special commission set up by the State Duma.

The next step will be that after the lower house puts forward the accusations, the upper house would have time period of three months to make a decision on annulling immunity of a former president. If this is not done, the accusations would be dismissed.

The law also states that the ex-president can neither be held criminally nor administratively liable, nor detained, arrested, interrogated, nor be subject to searches.

It should be underscored that this restraint only concerns acts committed while in office or proceedings in cases related to the exercise of his powers as the head of state.