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14 Feb, 2024 13:34

Putin approves asset confiscation for spreading ‘falsehoods’ about army 

Amendments to the criminal code would let Russian authorities seize property from those found guilty of inciting “extremist” activity  
Putin approves asset confiscation for spreading ‘falsehoods’ about army 

President Vladimir Putin signed a law on Wednesday allowing the Russian authorities to confiscate the property of individuals found guilty of spreading “deliberately false information” about the Armed Forces or committing crimes against national security. 

Both houses of parliament – the State Duma and the Federation Council – had passed the bill unanimously over the past two weeks.

The amendments to the criminal code also provide for the seizure of assets “acquired through illegal activities or used to commit or finance crimes,” the document published on the government’s official website for legal information states.

In order for an asset seizure to take place, a court would also have to conclude that the offender’s property was being used for activities harming Russia’s national security, according to the document.

Aside from spreading falsehoods about the military, the list of offenses punishable by confiscation includes calls for sanctions against Russia and its citizens, and the rehabilitation of Nazism. In addition, the law expands the list of criminal code articles under which offenders can be stripped of military and honorary titles, ranks and state awards.

Russian State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin, who introduced the bill in late January, previously said the measure targeted “scoundrels and traitors, those who today spit on the backs of our soldiers, who have betrayed their homeland, who transfer money to the armed forces of a country that is at war with us.”

Commenting on the legislation, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov the public should not be alarmed by it.

“We consider it groundless to express any concern,” Dmitry Peskov said on Wednesday, while stressing that the legislation bears no resemblance to the Soviet-era practice of confiscating property.  “This can be said unequivocally,” he said.

The law does not appear to include real estate among the assets subject to confiscation, unlike Soviet-era legislation, which in addition to prison terms authorized the complete seizure of housing.

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