Russian senators vote to abolish juries for terrorist trials
Russian senators vote to abolish juries for terrorist trials17/12/2008 14:58 MOSCOW, December 17 (RIA Novosti) - The upper house of Russia's parliament approved a bill on Wednesday to abolish juries for terrorist trials and cases involving kidnapping, state treason, espionage, coup d'etats and other serious offenses.
Under the bill, the country's criminal code will be amended to require that trials of suspects charged with terrorism offenses will be heard by a panel of three judges.
The amendments will also tighten criminal responsibility for those charged with terrorist offenses.
Criminal offenses involving explosives aimed at causing damage to companies, transportation and communication networks or vital infrastructure with a view to disrupting Russia's economic security and defense capabilities will be punishable by 12 to 20 years in prison.
Defendants charged with premeditated murder could face 15 to 20 years in jail or life imprisonment against the current 12 to 20 years behind bars.
Similar prison terms are expected for terrorists who target nuclear energy facilities or use nuclear, radioactive, toxic or biochemical materials to maim or kill.
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