In Digest, Russia

The Moscow Times, Thursday, May 7, 2015

Prison 3More than 2,200 inmates have been released as part of an amnesty proclaimed in the honor of the 70th anniversary of the Allied Victory in World War II, Interfax news agency reported Thursday, citing Russia’s Federal Penitentiary Service.

Valery Maksimenko, acting deputy head of the prison system, told reporters that 2,236 convicts had walked free under the amnesty as of Wednesday, Interfax reported. Up to 60,000 inmates could be released from prison under the amnesty, which will span a six-month period, Maksimenko added.

As many as 400,000 people — including inmates, individuals with suspended sentences and those currently standing trial — could benefit from the amnesty, which was approved by federal lawmakers late last month.

The amnesty only applies to individuals accused of committing minor or moderately severe crimes. Convicts sentenced to prison on murder, terrorism, large-scale fraud and embezzlement charges, among others, are ineligible for release under the amnesty.

Opposition leader Alexei Navalny, who has been handed suspended sentences for embezzlement and fraud, is ineligible for the amnesty.

Jailed Ukrainian military pilot Nadezhda Savchenko, whom Russia accused of complicity in the deaths of two Russian journalists in eastern Ukraine last summer, also does not meet the amnesty’s criteria.


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