Ombudsman Lukin welcomes economic amnesty, says too early to evaluate it

Vladimir Lukin file photo

(Interfax – MOSCOW, July 2, 2013) Russian human rights commissioner Vladimir Lukin said he expected the economic amnesty, declared by the Russian State Duma on Tuesday, to have positive effect.

“Any amnesty of not very serious criminals is a positive deed. I welcome this amnesty,” Lukin told Interfax on Tuesday.

“Arguments on how wide and deep the amnesty is are under way. Such arguments are always under way. A too wide amnesty was declared in autumn 1953, there were very narrow amnesties. Only practice will show what the amnesty will be like – one will see who is released and how courts work,” Lukin said.

“The talks on what the amnesty is like are premature. The fact that the amnesty has been declared is very good,” Lukin said.

The State Duma declared the economic amnesty on Tuesday and it will apply to several thousand people. The resolution releases people held criminally liable who were convicted for the first time, or convicted for business-related crimes for the first time. The compulsory condition for the amnesty is suspect or convict’s fulfillment of obligations to return property or to repay damages done to victims.