MOSCOW, Dec. 17 (UPI) -- Terror trials in Russia involving serious offenses will no longer be heard by juries, but will be ruled on by a panel of three judges, a new bill says.
The bill approved by the Russian Parliament's upper house Wednesday states cases involving such serious offenses as kidnapping, state treason, or espionage are now judge-based rather than jury-based, RIA Novosti reported.
The passed bill that alters the country's criminal code also increases the potential sentences terror suspects will face in related trials and cases.
Under the altered criminal code, suspects accused of using explosives in an attempt to impact Russia's economic or defense sectors will face between 12 and 20 years in prison if convicted.
Individuals convicted of premeditated murder charges could face at least 15 years in prison if convicted with a life prison sentence also a possibility.
RIA Novosti said Russian lawmakers are expected also to increase the penalties for individuals convicted of terror attacks on nuclear facilities or for using biochemical, nuclear or radioactive agents in attacks.