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Press release, 19.07.2000
St. Petersburg branch of Yabloko opposes any reduction in regional revenues envisaged by the budget for 2001
The St. Petersburg branch of the Yabloko Association has stated that it believes that it would be "wrong in principle" to reduce the revenues of the regions envisaged by the budget for 20001.

On July 19, 2000, the press service of the St. Petersburg branch of the Yabloko Association disseminated information to the effect that the new financial document stipulates a redistribution of revenues in favour of the federal centre as 70% against 30%, instead of the present split of 50% against 50%.

According to Yabloko, the new correlation in the distribution of revenues jeopardises social programmes, the financing of education, municipal economies and road building in the regions.

Consequently the St. Petersburg branch Yabloko declared that it would oppose any attempts to change the Budget Code of the RF in the part guaranteeing the rights of the regions.

The St. Petersburg branch of Yabloko also called on the deputies of the State Duma of the RF from St. Petersburg and governor of the city Vladimir Yakovlev to join in efforts to protect the interests of the region and its citizens.

Based on Interfax reports.

Elena Mizulina: Yabloko and the Union of Right-Wing Forces have grave doubts about one of the articles in the “second” law of the presidential package, where the State Duma needs to overrule the veto of the Federation Council

Deputy Chairman of the Duma Committee on Legislation Elena Mizulina (Yabloko faction) thinks that on July 19, 2000 the State Duma will support the version of the draft law on the formation of the Federation Council proposed by the conciliatory commission.

At the same time, on July 18, assessing the prospects of the Duma’s overruling of the veto of the Federation Council with respect to the second draft law of the presidential package, Elena Mizulina said at the press conference in Moscow that one of its provisions “arises doubts in the Yabloko and Union of Right-Wing Forces factions.”

Mizulina explained that the factions are referring here to the article which stipulates that, at the request of the Public Prosecutor General, the head of the regional executive authority may be temporarily removed from his post, on charges that he/she has committed a grave crime.

According to Mizulina, “the institution of the Public Prosecutor’s office in the country has remained virtually unreformed since 1937”. Consequently there are concerns about the application of this provision of the law. Mizulina thinks that it would be more correct to make the following change to the law: the Public Prosecutor General may forward a corresponding application to the Supreme Court and the President may only remove the head of an executive authority, only after a decision of the Supreme Court has been adopted.

“Let us now listen what the presidential side says before the vote,” said Mizulina who is unlikely to abstain in the vote to overrule the veto.

Mizulina also explained that if the veto is not overruled, the State Duma will propose the creation by the Federation Council of a conciliatory commission to finalise the draft.

She also said that she had prepared an amendment to the Constitution, which is presently “being approved by fraternal factions”. According to Mizulina’s amendment, the Federation Council should be formed by direct elections, with one person from each federation subject. In addition, it is proposed that the Federation Council should also include former presidents of Russia, former heads of the Constitutional and Supreme Court, and the former heads of federation subjects who were elected or nominated to their posts at least three times.

Based on Interfax reports.

On the parliamentary inquiry on the criminal prosecution of Viktor Gitin, deputy from the Yabloko faction of the State Duma of the second convocation

On July 19, 2000 the State Duma adopted a decision to forward a parliamentary request to Public Prosecutor General Vladimir Ustinov on the criminal prosecution of Viktor Gitin, deputy from the Yabloko faction of the State Duma of the second convocation.

The inquiry notifies the Public Prosecutor General that the charge brought against Viktor Gitin was based on implementation of his duties as a deputy of the Duma; however, the finding of the Duma Committee on Legislation (enclosed with the request) states that it is not permitted "to bring a charge against a deputy of the State Duma for ... actions corresponding to the status of deputy of the Duma, even on the expiry of his term", and "... a criminal suit should only be brought and a inquiry and a preliminary investigation should only be carried out, if the deputy has been deprived of State Duma deputy immunity."

The State Duma has requested that the Public Prosecutor General explain within ten days the grounds for bringing a criminal suit against Viktor Gitin without depriving him of deputy's immunity. In the Duma 365 deputies voted for this parliamentary inquiry.

The deputies of the Duma also received an information leaflet signed by Mikhail Zadornov, deputy from the Yabloko faction and former Finance Minister, in which he draws the attention of the deputies to a number of errors in the resolution of the investigator of Public Prosecutor General's office on bringing a charge against Viktor Gitin for mercenary actions to finance the federal programme "Development of the Low Angara Region" in 1996.

Mikhail Zadornov noted that the programme was approved in 1997 and was included in the federal budget in 1997-1998 and "therefore, no principal agreements on this programme could exist in 1996." Moreover Mikhail Zadornov also doubts the content of the charge, as in 1997-1998, according to the reports of the Ministry of Finance, this programme was not financed owing to a shortage of funds.

A criminal case against 39-year-old Viktor Gitin was brought by the Public Prosecutor’s Office in Krasnoyarsk: the former deputy was arrested in Moscow in March 2000 and deported to Krasnoyarsk. He had a stroke and was released under a written undertaking not to leave the place due to a serious illness. Currently, he is once again in hospital in the reanimation department.

A deputy from the Yabloko faction, Alexei Melnikov, forwarded a telegramme to the Public Prosecutor of Krasnodar Territory with a request to change the preventive punishment, as Viktor Gitin requires urgent treatment in one cardiology centre in Moscow.

See also:

The Viktor Gitin Case