Is this big news, or just more of the same? From Bloomberg:
Russian lawmakers say they plan to overhaul the law on economic crimes, resulting in the early release of as many as 100,000 imprisoned executives and entrepreneurs as the government seeks to attract investors.
Andrei Nazarov, deputy head of the committee that handles civil and criminal legislation in the lower house of parliament, on June 30 introduced amendments to the criminal code designed to implement a decree by President Dmitry Medvedev. Nazarov said he will offer further amendments, including one ending pre-trial detention for economic offenses.
“We are taking economic amnesty not as one law but as a series of legal changes,” Nazarov said in a phone interview. “At least 100,000 businessmen will be released from prison or will have to spend less time in jail. This will happen within the next year and a half.”
It appears that the unfortunate reality is that even when someone as high as the President of the Russian Federation wants to implement legal reforms, we have arrived to a point in which the arbitrary system of arrests without real charges, intimidation, and quasi-legal hostage taking among and between business competitors has become too valuable of an income stream for corrupt members of the bureaucracy, that it is not going to go away any time soon. I’m not talking about the big-ticket cases like Khodorkovsky, Magnitsky, etc., but rather just the more simple use of courts to steal properties often cited by activist Yana Yakovleva.