Vladimir Putin set to receive LIFETIME immunity protecting him from prosecution once he leaves office
VLADIMIR Putin is set to receive LIFETIME immunity which will protect him from prosecution outside his time in office.
Russian MPs backed the president's plans which will see the draft law expand Putin's immunity for his entire life, not just during his term in office.
The proposal is part of a larger set of reforms announced by Putin which were approved in a nationwide vote earlier in the summer.
Officials said that 77.9 per cent of votes across the country, the world's largest, had supported the changing of the constitution.
Critics claimed that the outcome had been falsified on a huge scale, with Russian activist Alexei Navalny saying he did not accept the result.
If the law is passed an ex-president can only be stripped of immunity if the Duma (lower Russian legislative assembly) imposes charges of high treason or other felonies.
The new bill states that an ex-president cannot be held criminally or administratively liable and they cannot be detained, arrested or subject to search or interrogation.
Under the current law, presidents cannot be held criminally or administratively liable for crimes while they are in office.
The reforms also include a provision that would reset the president's term limits and allow him to serve two more six-year terms.
Putin, 68, will end his current term in 2024 but if he takes on another two terms he will be 83 years old when he leaves office.
'GROOMING HIS SUCCESSOR'
However, in November it was claimed that Putin had cancer and underwent emergency surgery earlier in the year.
Political analyst Valery Solovei – whose earlier claims about the Russian strongman’s failing health were denied – also said Putin plans to announce his Kremlin exit early in the New Year.
Solovei added that his sources suggest Putin may already be grooming his daughter Katerina Tikhonova, 34, as his successor.
The former high-kicking dancer now spearheads a major new artificial intelligence initiative and volunteered to be was one of the first to test Russia’s Sputnik V Covid vaccine.
Former president Dmitry Medvedev, 55, and agriculture minister Dmitry Patrushev, 43, are also said to be among the frontrunners.
Reports recently claimed leaked tax records showed that Putin's "gymnast lover" is earning millions a year as a pro-Kremin media boss.
Former Olympic gold medalist Alina Kabaeva is said to pocket a salary of £7.78m even though she has not "been seen for years", claimed a recent expose.
'GODFATHER STYLE OPERATION'
Kabaeva has been dubbed "Russia's most flexible woman" and "the Kremlin's First Mistress” even though Putin has never acknowledged a relationship with her.
Putin's near absolute power has fuelled reports that the President's pal runs a "Godfather-style" operation that bankrolls the Russian leaders mistresses.
The 37-year-old is paid via billionaire Yury Kovalchuk, an oligarch close to Putin who is a shareholder of the National Media Group, according to independent investigative reporting outlet The Insider.
She was a pro-Putin MP from 2007-14 but now earns “dozens of times more” in her media role, her 2018 earnings state according to The Insider's report.
“The National Media Group does not publish annual reports showing directors’ remuneration,” reported the anti-corruption publication.
“The company has never answered media queries about it. Therefore, Alina Kabaeva’s income was unknown. Until now.
“According to the leaked Federal Tax Service’s database, the ex-sportswoman's official income in the National Media Group (NMG) was 785,400,000 roubles (£7.78 m). The Insider has verified this information.”
The average salary in Russia is just £5,867 a year.
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