Putin signs bill granting former Russian presidents lifetime immunity for any crimes committed
- Vladimir Putin signed legislation granting former presidents lifetime immunity
- Bill gives former presidents and families immunity from prosecution for crimes
- Will be exempt from questioning by police or investigators, as well as searches
Vladimir Putin has signed legislation that will grant former Russian presidents lifetime immunity once they leave office.
The bill, which was published online Tuesday, gives former presidents and their families immunity from prosecution for crimes committed during their lifetime.
They will also be exempt from questioning by police or investigators, as well as searches or arrests.
The legislation was part of constitutional amendments that were approved this summer in a nationwide vote that allow Putin, 68, to remain president until 2036.
Vladimir Putin has signed legislation which gives former presidents and their families immunity from prosecution for crimes committed during their lifetime
Prior to the bill becoming law, former presidents were immune from prosecution only for crimes committed while in office.
Now a former president can still be stripped of immunity if accused of treason or other grave crimes and the charges are confirmed by the Supreme and Constitutional courts.
But the legislation Putin signed on Tuesday will additionally grant former presidents a lifetime seat in the Federation Council or senate, a position that assures immunity from prosecution upon leaving the presidency.
Last month the pending bills sparked rumours that the longtime Russian leader is planning to step down because of poor health – a claim the Kremlin denied.
On Tuesday the lower house State Duma passed legislation making information about employees of Russia’s judicial system, law enforcement and regulatory and military bodies confidential.
The bill now requires Putin’s signature to become law, a step that is considered a formality.
It comes a day after opposition figure Alexei Navalny said he telephoned an alleged security agent and tricked him into admitting the Federal Security Service (FSB) tried to kill him in August by poisoning.
The Russian president played ice hockey at a skating rink in Moscow’s Red Square with nine-year-old Dimitry after the young boy took part in the Dream with Me charity project
Last week Putin laughed off reports the Kremlin was involved in poisoning Alexei Navalny at a news conference (pictured)
Navalny said he had gained access to the security agent’s phone number from leaked logs and travel records.
The Kremlin critic later published the agent’s alleged address and phone number, actions that would become illegal under the newly proposed legislation.
Last week Putin laughed off reports the Kremlin was involved in poisoning Navalny.
Speaking via video call during an annual marathon news conference, the Russian leader said: ‘If there was such a desire, it would have been done.’
Navalny fell sick on August 20 during a domestic flight in Russia and was flown while he was in a coma to Germany for treatment two days later.
Labs in Germany, France and Sweden, and tests by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, established that he was exposed to a Soviet-era Novichok nerve agent.
Russian authorities have vehemently rejected the accusations of involvement in the poisoning.
On Monday, the Russian president was seen playing ice hockey in Moscow’s Red Square with nine-year-old Dimitry after the young boy took part in the Dream with Me charity project.
The project is supported by Putin and sees children from disadvantaged backgrounds being given the opportunity to live out their Christmas dreams.
Dimitry and the president were also joined by Soviet and Russian hockey player Valery Kamensky.
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