Updated at 23:49,22-08-2019

House passes amendments liberalizing Criminal Code’s economic crime section

Syarhey KARALEVICH, Naviny.by

House passes amendments liberalizing Criminal Code’s economic crime section
The House of Representatives on Wednesday gave second-reading approval to a bill of amendments that would liberalize the Criminal Code’s articles penalizing economic crimes.

According to Vasil Chekan, a member of the House’s national security committee, one of the key changes is that people who commit economic crimes would not have all their property confiscated but only the property and income gained through their criminal activity.

The amendments would also decrease the number of crimes punishable with imprisonment, reclassify certain crimes, decriminalize activities that do not cause real damage and increase the amount of damage considered to be large-scale one.

“The amendments to the Criminal Code correspond with the government’s course for the liberalization of economic activity, external economic activity in particular, and the encouragement of business initiative,” Mr. Chekan said. “They will also make it possible to exclude punishment for senior executives of conscientious organizations for foreign counteragents’ failure to meet contract conditions.”

In particular, the bill would change Article 233, which penalizes illegal business activity, so that criminal proceedings could only be instituted for running a business without a special license and would remove Article 234, which envisages punishment for running a "false business.”

In another change, the bill would introduce penalties for suicide propaganda and toughen penalties for driving or inciting individuals to suicide.

In addition, the bill would toughen penalties for government officials guilty of treachery.