Russian Parliamentarian May Be Deprived Of Deputy's Immunity

The State Duma (Russian Parliament's lower house) could possibly consider Wednesday the issue of removing deputy's immunity from Vladimir Golovlyov (Union of Right Forces faction), owing to criminal proceedings the Prosecutor General's Office has instituted against him. Vyacheslav Volodin, head of the Unity-All Russia Duma faction, said in an interview that according to regulations, the Prosecutor General should give grounds for his request to remove the deputy's immunity in a speech at the State Duma, while the Duma's mandate commission is due to fulfil or reject the request. According to Volodin, it is up to each deputy to reach a decision on this issue. Meanwhile, Boris Nemtsov, leader of the Union of Right Forces faction, said, while commenting on the situation, that his faction had been a strong advocate of cancelling deputies' immunity. "Everybody must be equal before the law," he said. Sources in the Duma have specified that Golovlyov remained a member of the Union of Right Forces faction. However, he quitted the Union of Right Forces party at its last congress held in the spring and is a leader of the recently established Liberal Russia movement. The State Duma has on two previous occasions take the decision to remove deputy's immunity.

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