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Amendments to the Criminal Code – Corruption Provision Untouched

One hundred days have passed since the president of the state, the coordinator of the National Security Council and the president of a political party with an absolute majority in the Assembly, speaking in each of these three properties, announced that amendments to the law will be prepared in 20 days to introduce "systemic measures against crime and corruption ". As we explained before, some very important changes in the criminal and criminal procedural legislation were announced in his speech. Some of them sounded revolutionary, such as limiting the duration of the trial.

However, no measure was announced that could be called anti-corruption.

These announcements from January were also confirmed by the April draft amendments to the Criminal Code, published by the Ministry of Justice. So far no announcement has been made to amend the Code of Criminal Procedure, so that some of the ideas and promises of Vucic's exposure, such as the one whose execution was most dubious at law, about "trials for a year" were not operationalized.

Within the Criminal Code, as announced, changes are being made to introduce lifelong imprisonment for one of the most serious crimes, as well as other measures that can be expected to result in the imposition of more severe penalties.

In addition to the already existing punitive purposes, it proposes the introduction of a new element, "the achievement of fairness and proportionality between the committed act and the gravity of the criminal sanction."

Some of the changes will have an impact on the more severe forms of corruptive offenses and in repetition. Namely, "in accordance with the initiative of the Ministry of Interior", the provisions related to sentencing in the event of a refund are amended. "The fact that someone was previously convicted of a criminal act done with intent is necessarily taken by the court as an aggravating circumstance. In the case of "ordinary repayment", the court cannot impose a sentence below the limit prescribed by law or a lesser type of punishment if the perpetrator of a criminal offense committed with intent has previously been convicted of an intentional offense and if five years have elapsed since the previous conviction or sentence has been served.

In case of multiple refunds (earlier two or more convictions), the court is obliged to impose a sentence above half the range of the prescribed penalty.

Two conditions must be fulfilled - that the offender was convicted for two or more times for a criminal offense committed with an intent on imprisonment of at least one year, and that five years have elapsed since the day of the release from serving the sentence until the new criminal offense has been committed.

There is also a clash of criminal offenses for which suspended sentence can be imposed. This conviction cannot be imposed for crimes for which a sentence of eight years in prison or a more severe punishment is impounded, instead, as it is now provided for a ten year imprisonment sentence. According to the Ministry, this intervention is harmonizing the Criminal Code with the Code of Criminal Procedure, by envisaging that conditional sentence can be pronounced only for criminal offenses for which the Code of Criminal Procedure provides for a summary procedure.