MOSCOW, December 20 (RIA Novosti) - Dmitry Gudkov, a lawmaker with the A Just Russia party, publicly apologized on Thursday after publishing information suggesting a deceased deputy took part in the vote on the US adoption ban.
Gudkov posted a rundown of Wednesday’s vote in his Twitter account, including United Russia deputy Vyacheslav Osipov who had been hospitalized and died later that day. The tweet caused a stir among Russian bloggers and journalists.
“I express my condolences to Vyacheslav Osipov’s family and apologize for publishing the results of the vote on the amendment to the Anti Magnitsky bill, which provoked such controversy in the media,” Gudkov wrote in his LiveJournal account.
United Russia said that although 75-year-old Osipov had been in hospital on the day of the vote, he entrusted his colleagues to vote on his behalf, a practice permitted under State Duma regulations.
The State Duma’s ethics commission, which is a cross-party body, ordered Gudkov to publicly apologize to Osipov’s family, warning that he might otherwise be censured or denied the right to speak.
Gudkov denied any wrongdoing. He said that he had merely revealed how people voted, and that journalists had started asking questions.
"I responded by asking them [journalists] not to ask me about this and expressed my condolences to Osipov’s family,” Gudkov said.
He added that the commission failed to publicly substantiate the accusations of his “indecent comments.”
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Any response would likely boomerang on Russia – the partnership between Rosneft and ExxonMobil is a case in point. The United States has hit Russia with a third round of sanctions. This time the Americans went with a higher caliber weapon, targeting Russia’s biggest energy companies (Rosneft and Novatek) and banks (VEB and Gazprombank).