11 Feb 2020 17:28

Russian courts terminated over half of cases on organization of criminal groups in 2019 - Russian Supreme Court chairman

MOSCOW. Feb 11 (Interfax) - More than half of cases opened under Article 210 of the Russian Criminal Code on the organization of criminal groups are terminated at the initiative of the court, Russian Supreme Court Chairman Vyacheslav Lebedev said.

"Last year, 53%, or 260 of the criminal cases opened under the article, were terminated by courts," Lebedev said at a meeting of Russian general jurisdiction and arbitration courts on Tuesday.

As a rule, courts acquitted the defendants in the majority of cases, or 63%, he said. In 15% of cases, judges decided that charges under this article were excessive, and the remaining defendants were exempted from criminal responsibility.

The Supreme Court supports the presidential initiative proposing that businesspeople should be prosecuted under Article 210 only when a legal entity was created in order to commit a crime, Lebedev said.

"The excessive application of Article 210 results in a negative impact on the economy," he said.