The state duma adopted additional guarantees to protect the rights of businessmen from unjustified criminal prosecution

In accordance with the amended article 210 of the criminal code is proposed to add a note, according to which “the founders, managers and employees of organizations registered as legal entities” not subject to criminal liability under article 210 of the criminal code only because of the presence of organized structures”, in “except in the case when the organization and (or) its structural unit was deliberately created to commit one or more serious or very serious crimes.”

These changes are very important and timely. Caused by folding at the moment in the sphere of entrepreneurial activities disturbing trend of application of article 210 of the criminal code in relation to entrepreneurs, which is expressed in the ability to prosecute the founders, members, and employees of any legal entities engaged in the usual business activities and not related to organized crime, only one formal grounds – the internal organizational structure of the legal entity, ie solely due to the fact that the leaders and employees of the organization work in a unified structure.

Thus, on the basis of the lay legislator, the legal meaning of article 210 of the criminal code, and General provisions and principles of the criminal code, by itself, the internal organizational structure of the legal entity, in the absence of evidence of intent to commit a crime as part of criminal community, may not be taken into account as an aggravating feature of the crime under article 210 of the criminal code.

The above is a vicious law-enforcement practice leads to unjustified criminal prosecution of a huge number of entrepreneurs and, as a consequence, the loss of business. This has a negative impact on investment and business climate in Russia, which is especially important in conditions of economic crisis in the country.

In addition, as practice shows, at present, article 210 of the criminal code is actually used by the preliminary investigation bodies as an instrument of pressure on suspects and accused of crimes in the sphere of entrepreneurial activities, which in exchange for a guilty plea on other items promise to remove the charges under article 210 of the criminal code.

Often when crime in the sphere of entrepreneurial activities, for example, fraud (article 159 of the criminal code), the investigating authorities additionally charged with article 210 of the criminal code only in order to overcome a ban on the detention of entrepreneurs in criminal cases in the sphere of entrepreneurial activities and to decide concerning them the measure of restraint in form of custody up to the end of the preliminary investigation. As justification, the imputation of article 210 of the criminal code, the preliminary investigation bodies only indicate the presence of a formal organized structure of the legal entity.

In order to curb the above unscrupulous law enforcement practices on the part of bodies of preliminary investigation, according to lawyers of Tenzor Consulting Group, it is appropriate to make additions to the Criminal procedure code of the Russian Federation in the form of prohibition to arrest for crimes in the sphere of entrepreneurial activities and in cases where the investigating authorities additionally charged with article 210 of the criminal code.

We hope that these changes will be perceived and implemented as the preliminary investigation bodies and courts, in law enforcement practice on criminal cases in order to avoid undue and illegal pressure on business in Russian Federation and will increase the investment attractiveness of the Russian Federation in the international arena.

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