By Jemal Abdu Fortune Staff Writer
Anti-Corruption Commission gains more power, while financial fines are enhanced
The first anti-corruption law that is made in separation to the 1994 criminal code of the country was ratified by the parliament. The new proclamation included new provisions in addition to those in the criminal code.
Among the new provisions that the proclamation brought into light are the punishment to the improper disclosure of secret codes and keys in order to get personal benefits, licensing or certifying unqualified persons, disclosing military secrets- as punishable both by the criminal code and corruption proclamation, and the bribing of mediators.
The new proclamation that strengthens the punishments to be effected on the corrupt has also included monetary punishment on every imprisonment. Therefore, if an enterprise that has got legal personality is found to be involved in corruption, for those actions punishable by simple imprisonment, less than five years imprisonment, from five to 10 years of imprisonment, and more than 10 years of imprisonment, it will be punishable by 20,000 Br, 30,000 Br, 50,000 Br, and 80,000 Br respectively.
This amount of money was set on the public hearing process of the Law, Justice and Administrative Affairs Standing Committee of the parliament. The former punishments were 30,000 Br, 50,000 Br, 100,000 Br and 200,000 Br respectively.
“This is because monetary punishment has a better deterring effect in the eyes of the corrupt than imprisonment,” states the proclamation.
Although many governmental and nongovernmental organizations were put into consideration while making the law, there are some that are excluded from being questioned by the law. These are corruption cases that are committed by religious organizations, political organizations, international organizations, small and micro enterprises and other religious or cultural institutions.
This is because, the income collected in religious institutions, which is based on faith, does not follow proper controlling mechanisms, which is done to comply to the believers’ faith as the believers do not question the use of the money. International organizations have immunity not to be questioned by the law and the expense is higher than the result to be found by the trial process to question small and micro enterprises.
Together with the proclamation, the parliament also ratified other two proclamations, a proclamation to amend the revised anti-corruption special procedure and rules of procedure of evidence proclamation, and revised anti-corruption commission establishment proclamation.
The proclamations were necessitated because of the need to include public organizations and ensure speedy and effective gathering of information, investigation, prosecution and hearing of corruption offenses and the injunction and retrieval of property obtained thereof.
As a result of the new proclamation, other provisions in the criminal code are revoked and corruption cases are to be seen using the new proclamation. But those that have been committed before the ratification of the new proclamation are to be tried using the provisions in the criminal code.
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