Russian bill may extend ex-presidents’ immunity from prosecution

0:00
play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
Russian President Vladimir Putin. (Mikhail Klimentyev, Sputnik, AFP)
Russian President Vladimir Putin. (Mikhail Klimentyev, Sputnik, AFP)
  • The bill has been published on the Russian government's website.
  • The bill will allow former presidents a lifetime immunity for crimes committed in their lifetime.
  • The bill will become law if the lower house votes to approve it.


Russian ex-presidents’ immunity from criminal prosecution could be extended to any offences committed in their lifetimes, not merely while in office, under a bill submitted to Parliament on Thursday.

The bill, published on a government website, is one of several being introduced following constitutional reforms that, among other things, allow President Vladimir Putin to run again when his term ends in 2024.

The draft legislation is being carefully parsed for clues as to what Putin, who has dominated Russian politics for more than two decades, plans to do in 2024.

ALSO READ | Outrage after Germany says Putin critic Navalny poisoned with Novichok

Former presidents already enjoy lifetime immunity for crimes committed in office under legislation adopted after Russia’s first post-Soviet president, Boris Yeltsin, handed the reins of power to Putin at the turn of the century.

The new bill would also make it harder to revoke ex-presidents’ expanded immunity.

It would require the upper house of parliament to vote overwhelmingly to revoke it on the strength of accusations by the lower house that the president had committed treason or another serious crime.

The bill will become law if the lower house votes to approve it in three readings, the upper house backs it, and Putin then signs it.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
DAYS
HRS
MINS
Voting Booth
When assisting your child with remote learning this year, did you:
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Follow the school's comprehensive sexuality education (CSE) curriculum?
13% - 146 votes
Adjust the CSE curriculum to suit the family's morals?
24% - 273 votes
Ignore the schools CSE programme and do your own teaching?
64% - 741 votes
Vote
ZAR/USD
15.29
(-0.36)
ZAR/GBP
20.40
(-0.47)
ZAR/EUR
18.30
(-0.38)
ZAR/AUD
11.29
(-0.14)
ZAR/JPY
0.15
(-0.33)
Gold
1780.77
(-0.31)
Silver
22.27
(-1.61)
Platinum
958.00
(-0.52)
Brent Crude
47.90
(0.00)
Palladium
2399.00
(-1.03)
All Share
57180.60
(-1.11)
Top 40
52418.35
(-1.14)
Financial 15
11328.70
(-2.15)
Industrial 25
78997.08
(-1.12)
Resource 10
52442.60
(-0.69)
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes morningstar logo