Enjoying ad-free content?
Since July 1, 2024, we have disabled all ads to improve your reading experience.
This commitment costs us $10,000 a month. Your support can help us fill the gap.
Support us
Our journalism is banned in Russia. We need your help to keep providing you with the truth.

Supreme Court Clarifies Difference Between Bribes and Payment

The receipt of payments for professional services cannot be considered a bribe, the Supreme Court has ruled, a news report said Wednesday.

A bribe is the receipt of money or services in return for actions performed by a public official using the authority delegated to him, the court said.

The ruling may affect the way authorities carry out their stated aim of fighting corruption. Law enforcement agencies will no longer be able to boost their performance results in the fight against corruption with trumped-up cases against teachers giving private lessons or doctors recommending paid treatment to their patients, BFM.ru reported.

"The court understandably wants to stop this perverse practice among law enforcement agencies by clearly stating that administrative functions provided by an official for money will be considered a bribe," said Vyacheslav Leontyev, managing partner of law firm Leontyev and Partners.

Criminal cases involving so-called "everyday corruption" involving teachers and doctors may become a thing of the past after the ruling, he added.

The court also ruled that evidence of bribe-taking obtained by law enforcement agencies using provocation or set-ups is inadmissible as long as there is no prior indication that the official is looking to receive a bribe.

However, proving provocation might be quite difficult in reality, since it often requires specific audio and video evidence, which can only be obtained by those very same law enforcement agencies, legal experts said.

… we have a small favor to ask. As you may have heard, The Moscow Times, an independent news source for over 30 years, has been unjustly branded as a "foreign agent" by the Russian government. This blatant attempt to silence our voice is a direct assault on the integrity of journalism and the values we hold dear.

We, the journalists of The Moscow Times, refuse to be silenced. Our commitment to providing accurate and unbiased reporting on Russia remains unshaken. But we need your help to continue our critical mission.

Your support, no matter how small, makes a world of difference. If you can, please support us monthly starting from just $2. It's quick to set up, and you can be confident that you're making a significant impact every month by supporting open, independent journalism. Thank you.

paiment methods
Not ready to support today?
Remind me later.

Read more