Practice Relating to Rule 160. Statutes of Limitation
The Russian Federation’s Decree on the Punishment of War Criminals (1965) states: “Nazi criminals, guilty of most serious crimes against peace and humanity and war crimes, are subject to prosecution and punishment, irrespective of the time elapsed after the crimes committed.”
The Russian Federation’s Criminal Code (1996), with respect to possible release from criminal responsibility owing to the expiry of statutes of limitation, provides:
The periods of limitation shall not be applied to persons who have committed crimes against peace and the security of mankind, provided for by Articles 353 [planning, preparing, unleashing or waging an aggressive war], 356 [use of banned means and methods of warfare], 357 [genocide] and 358 [ecocide] of this Code.
With respect to possible release from punishment owing to the expiry of the limitation period of the Court’s sentence, the Code provides:
Limitation periods shall not be applicable to persons convicted for the commission of crimes against peace and the security of mankind, provided for by Articles 353 [planning, preparing, unleashing or waging an aggressive war], 356 [use of banned means and methods of warfare], 357 [genocide] and 358 [ecocide] of this Code.
In 2010, in its fifth periodic report to the Committee against Torture, the Russian Federation stated:
In accordance with article 78 of the Code [Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (1996)], a person is exempt from criminal liability if the relevant statute of limitations has run. Nevertheless, under paragraph 5 of the article, this provision is not applied in respect of persons who have committed offences against the peace and security of humankind. This refers, among others, to such crimes as genocide (art. 357) and use of prohibited means and methods of warfare (art. 356), which offences encompass acts covered by the Convention’s [1984 Convention against Torture] definition of torture.