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2 Dec 2014

Belarus ratifies protocol to Criminal Law Convention on Corruption

MINSK, 2 December (BelTA) – Belarusian MPs ratified an additional protocol to the Criminal Law Convention on Corruption on 2 December, BelTA has learned.

Prosecutor General Alexander Konyuk said presenting the document that Belarus joined the Council of Europe’s Criminal Law Convention on Corruption (adopted on 27 January 1999) on 1 March 2008. The Convention spells out clear requirements for every member state. In particular, the state signatories are obliged to adopt laws to incriminate corruption offences such as active and passive bribery of public officials, bribery in the private sector as well as officials of international organizations, judges, trading in influence, money laundering of proceeds from corruption offences, etc.

Due to Belarus’ participation in the additional protocol to the Convention and the fact that a number of its norms do not correspond to the Belarusian legislation, the document is subject to ratification. “The additional protocol envisages the adoption of measures aimed at criminal responsibility for active and passive bribery of foreign sport referees as well as domestic and foreign members of the jury,” Alexander Konyuk said.

The reason for a heightened attention to this type of activity is active development of economic relations when the role of arbitration courts increases. This is attested to by the law on arbitration courts adopted by Belarus in 2011. Besides, in case Belarus decides on introducing the institute of jurors, the accession to the additional protocol will require amendments to the country’s legislation, in particular criminal and criminal procedure laws.

According to the Prosecutor General, “Belarus’ current legal system does not envisage the institute of jurors and the trial jury and today there are no objective preconditions to introduce them.” “However, it is not an incontestable reason to hinder Belarus’ accession to the additional protocol,” Alexander Konyuk said.

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