State Duma Refuses To Lift Immunity From Its Deputy But May Take Up This Question Again

The Russian State Duma, or the lower parliamentary house, refused, Wednesday, to strip Vladimir Golovlev, of the Union of Right Forces faction, of his parliamentary immunity. When a resolution to deprive Golovlev of his deputy immunity was put to the vote, it was supported by 213 deputies against the required 226 votes. The rejected resolution presupposed a State Duma consent to criminal proceedings being instituted against Golovlev, his arrest and a search on the grounds set out in the Prosecutor-General's representation. But the State Duma will, perhaps, revert to the examination of this question at a plenary session on November 1. This view was expressed to journalists on Wednesday by Gennady Raikov, leader of the People's Deputy group. According to his information, the drafters of an alternative State Duma resolution on stripping Golovlev of parliamentary immunity will propose putting examination of this document on the agenda of a plenary meeting on Thursday. The two drafts differ only in that the alternative version proposes giving consent to criminal proceedings against Golovlev and conducting a search, but without his arrest. The criminal case against deputy Golovlev is based on an investigation of the sale of Magnitogorsk Works shares to a sum of 22 billion roubles. This was disclosed by Mikhail Grishankov, deputy chairman of the State Duma security committee. Golovlev headed the state property management committee of the Chelyabinsk region, where the works is situated. The prosecutor's office opened the case as early as 1996 and more than once summoned Golovlev to give evidence. But the parliamentarian would refuse to cooperate with law enforcement bodies, pleading deputy immunity.

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