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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Court Restricts Duma Immunity Law

Russia's Constitutional Court has moved to restrict parliamentary immunity for the members of the legislature, Chief Justice Vladimir Tumanov said Tuesday.

The legal provision for parliamentary immunity does not free members from "responsibility for offenses, including criminal or administrative, if such offenses were unconnected with parliamentary activity as such," Tumanov said, according to Interfax.

The decision, initiated by a presidential inquiry, was welcomed by both Yeltsin's envoy to the Constitutional Court, Mikhail Mityukov, and by the deputy speaker of the State Duma, Sergei Baburin.

The Duma has at times become what some observers have termed "the refuge of scoundrels" as a number of deputies -- MMM president Sergei Mavrodi, for example -- sought to use parliamentary immunity as a shield from criminal prosecution.