On January 1, 2009, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev signed into law amendments to the Russian penal code ending jury trials for terrorism or treason suspects and giving prosecutors broader investigative authority on terrorism or treason related cases. The suspects will now be tried by a panel of three judges. The amendments easily passed both houses of the Russian parliament the month before. Proponents of the changes say they will strengthen the government's ability to combat terrorism. Critics of the changes say they will decrease transparency in the Russian judicial system.
Russian coat of arms
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