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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Lawmaker Faces Probe Into Comments at Rally

The Prosecutor General's Office said Tuesday it was considering bringing criminal charges against Communist State Duma Deputy Albert Makashov after he called for President Boris Yeltsin to be executed.

Makashov, who spent five months in jail for his role in the parliament's October 1993 uprising, violated two articles in the Criminal Code when at a weekend rally he called for the use of force to overthrow the government, Justice Minister Pavel Krasheninnikov said.

Makashov on Sunday called for Yeltsin and his reform team to be led to the execution site on Red Square, where they would be punished for their crimes. Later in the day, he told viewers on NTV's "Itogi" program that zhidy f a derogatory term for Jews f were responsible for the crisis in Russia today and should be locked up.

"Mr. Makashov has gone beyond the Criminal Code, particularly Article 280, when he called for the use of force to change the constitutional system," Krasheninnikov said. He added that Makashov also faced prosecution under Article 282 of the code, which covers incitement to racial hatred.

The Justice Ministry cannot prosecute Makashov, but it has passed a recommendation to the Prosecutor General's Office, which said Tuesday it was looking into the case. No charges have been brought so far.

This is not the first time Makashov has been criticized for his extreme views. When a bomb went off in a Moscow synagogue in May injuring two construction workers and damaging the building, he was quoted as saying "Jews themselves" had organized the explosion.

However, if the case goes ahead, Makashov is unlikely to serve a prison sentence: Russia's Constitution states that every deputy in the Duma, parliament's lower house, enjoys immunity from criminal prosecution. Immunity can be overturned with a two-thirds majority vote, but the Communist-dominated Duma is unlikely to strip Makashov of this privilege.

Makashov has made no comment on the incident. He was not seen in the Duma on Tuesday and his office door was locked.

In the past, only two other deputies have lost their immunity. In 1995, parliament voted overwhelmingly to strip Sergei Mavrodi, the notorious head of the failed MMM pyramid scheme, of his Duma seat.

Last month, during a closed-door session, the Duma voted to strip deputy Nadir Khachilayev of his immunity, paving the way for prosecutors to proceed with an investigation of Khachilayev's role in the storming of government offices in the North Caucasus republic of Dagestan.