Muzzle on Soviet Carpers on Hold

<i> Associated Press</i>

A measure that would provide for stiff fines or jail sentences for insulting or slandering the Soviet president was approved Saturday by one chamber of the Soviet legislature but failed in the other chamber, Tass said. The bill will now go to a committee to be reworked and introduced at another session, the official Soviet news agency reported.

The measure was introduced after an angry Red Square protest on May 1 at which thousands of people shouted or displayed slogans demanding that the leadership resign. Some called President Mikhail S. Gorbachev a dictator.

A spokesman for the Supreme Soviet said the bill would impose a fine of up to $5,000, two years in a labor camp or three years in jail for slandering or insulting the president.