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Russia justice system wrongly charging thousands: chief prosecutor

[JURIST] Russian authorities are wrongly indicting thousands of citizens every year, Russian Prosecutor-General Yury Chaika [official website, in Russian; JURIST news archive] said Tuesday at a Moscow meeting held to discuss compensation for those falsely charged. Chaika said that in 2007, 5,265 people were eventually cleared after having charges wrongly laid against them. Critics have long slammed the Russian justice system as riddled with corruption and intimidation, but Chaika's comments are the first admission by a high-ranking government official of extensive problems in the prosecution process. BBC News has more. Russian news agency ITAR-TASS has local coverage.

Chaika's comments come after a promise last Tuesday by new Russian President Dmitry Medvedev [official profile] to take steps to tackle corruption and intimidation in the Russian judicial system [JURIST report], calling for reforms to better train and support judges and to preserve the rule of law. Also last week, Medvedev signed a measure to establish an anti-corruption council [JURIST report].

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Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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