The Russian State Duma has declared economic amnesty, which will apply to several thousand people.
The decree, passed by deputies, releases people held criminally liable who were convicted for the first time, or convicted for business-related crimes for the first time, excluding sentences banning the convicts from taking certain positions or practicing certain activities.
Criminal cases against such people who are under investigation as of now are also to be terminated.
The list of crimes under 27 articles of the Russian Criminal Code will be amnestied.
The compulsory condition for the amnesty is suspect or convict's fulfillment of obligations to return property or to repay damages done to victims.
The amnesty applies not only to convicts but to those whose sentences do not include jail time, those with suspended sentences, deferred sentences and released on parole.
The amnesty does not apply to those who committed crimes involving violence or the threat of using it.
The decree comes into effect when it is officially published and is to be implemented within six months.
Another decree passed regulates the release of those eligible for amnesty and closing criminal cases against them.
The list of bodies responsible for fulfilling the decree is determined. The decision of amnesty application is made individually in each case.
Resolutions on amnesty, passed by correction and detention facilities, inquiry bodies and penal inspections, are approved by a prosecutor and those made by preliminary investigators - by an investigative body head and those made by court bailiffs - by a senior court bailiff.
Work on the criminal case or prison term is terminated from the day these decrees are approved.
People eligible for amnesty are not exempt from administrative punishment or the obligation to repay the damage done as a result of their illegal actions.
The Russian president's representative in the State Duma, Garry Minkh, said that around 3,000 people could be released under the amnesty.
Chairman of the State Duma's Committee for Civil, Criminal, Arbitration and Procedural Legislation Pavel Krasheninnikov has said that the amnesty could apply to around 10,000 people.
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