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Hit where it hurts: Chief investigator pushes for confiscation of property from corrupt officials

Hit where it hurts: Chief investigator pushes for confiscation of property from corrupt officials
The confiscation of property acquired by corrupt officials will allow the state to more effectively pay compensatory damages caused by corruption, the head of the Russian federal agency that deals with high-profile crimes said.

The measure should be brought back to make the punishment for corruption inevitable and put the officials in a position where misuse or abuse of authority becomes pointless, Aleksandr Bastrykin, the head of the Investigative Committee, argued.

The measure would prove paramount, he said, because “corruption is directly responsible for hampering the development of the country’s economy.”

Confiscation of property obtained through illegal means had been used to punish criminals since Soviet times but, in 2003, MPs voted to remove it from the Russian Criminal Code.

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During the last eight years, around 80,000 criminal cases of alleged corruption have been sent to court in Russia. More than 5,000 of them were initiated against local MPs, officials and law enforcement officials, according to Bastrykin’s data.

The Russian parliament was ready to discuss the Investigative Committee head’s initiate within the relevant committees and “do everything to make the fight against corruption effective,” Duma Deputy Speaker Sergey Neverov promised.

However, Neverov pointed out that the measure shouldn’t be misused, with confiscation only implemented after a suspect’s guilt is fully proven.

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