Duma Removes Communist Deputy's Parliamentary Immunity

The State Duma on Wednesday formally withdrew Communist Party lawmaker Konstantin Shirshov's parliamentary immunity over accusations that he conspired to sell a Duma seat for $10 million.

On Monday, Shirshov wrote a statement saying he was willing to voluntarily forgo his parliamentary immunity but would not relinquish his Duma seat.

The Prosecutor General's Office had pressed the Duma into making the move, saying it wanted to question Shirshov over allegations that he and three others offered lawmaker status to a businessman for 7.5 million euros ($10 million).

Investigators say Shirshov received 66 million rubles ($2.2 million) as a down payment at the National Hotel, in central Moscow, in July 2011. If convicted, Shirshov faces up to 10 years in prison on charges of large-scale fraud.

(MT)

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