Interfax: Russian Constitutional Court restricts use of house arrest

Russian Constitutional Court file photo

ST. PETERSBURG. March 24 (Interfax) – House arrest cannot be used in charges that do not envisage imprisonment and deviation from this rule is only possible in a situation when the person has already breached a preventive measure before, the Russian Constitutional Court has ruled.

The decision was posted on the court website on Friday.

The claim was filed with the Russian Constitutional Court by Sergei Kostromin. He was put under house arrest in March after the joint-stock company Promyshlennaya Gruppa Promindustriya, which comprises several enterprises building oil and gas sector facilities, owned its employees working in shifts in the Far North 30 million rubles. The workers were paid the money to which they were entitled, but house arrest was prolonged by several months. The court then rejected the arguments of the defense lawyers, who said that house arrest could not be used because the charge was not a grave one.

The Constitutional Court said in its decision that house arrest is only possible if there is a possibility of punishment in the form of imprisonment in the future, and deviation from this rule is only possible if the goals of criminal procure cannot be achieved without arrest, for example, if the person had breached a preventive measure before.

The federal legislator has a right to differentiate between preventive measures based on their proportionality of the gravity of suspicion and the charge, taking into account existing punishments that are alternative to imprisonment (community work, corrective labor and freedom restriction).

The Constitutional Court ruled that Kostromin’s case is subject to review.

[featured image is file photo from another occasion]