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Opinions & Interviews

7 Aug 2014

Lukashenko: Reforms of the criminal justice system should not create loopholes

Lukashenko: Reforms of the criminal justice system should not create loopholes

MINSK, 7 August (BelTA) – Amendments to the criminal law and criminal procedure rules should not create loopholes, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said on 7 August at a meeting to discuss the draft law on revising the criminal justice system, BelTA has learnt.

The head of state underlined that the principle of inevitability of punishment should remain unshakable. “Any kinds of changes to the criminal justice mechanisms should, one way or another, improve or amplify this principle, but not create the conditions allowing criminals to escape punishment. We do not have any right to condone on impunity,” Alexander Lukashenko said.

The head of state noted that it is an established tradition for the President to discuss the most important laws, regulations and documents that have or will have a great impact on the lives of people and the entire society. The draft law had been discussed in August last year. It provided for the use of pre-trial agreement on cooperation, compensation in criminal cases, and absence of persecution in the event of business risks. There were plans to decriminalize certain actions that do not pose major threats to the society, and to toughen fines for economic crimes.

The participants of the discussion agreed that the draft law was timely and necessary for our country. The President instructed MPs, law enforcement agencies and representatives of the business community to discuss the draft law in detail and make a final and well-balanced decision on all its provisions taking into consideration the interests of the state and the public.

Alexander Lukashenko warned: “Possible amendments to the criminal law should not downgrade the very essence of the law”. No matter what kinds of amendments are introduced, the law should remain an efficient instrument to prevent and punish crimes, the President added.

Meeting to discuss the draft law on revising the criminal justice systemThe head of state noted that the proper handling of criminal cases is also important. “Investigations that drag for a long time and bring no results should not be commonplace. A prosecutor, investigators and courts should use modern legal instruments that can secure fast and objective investigation and examination of criminal cases”.

The MPs are set to inform the attendees about their work on the draft law and the way the above-mentioned tasks are addressed.

Alexander Lukashenko underlined that he would like to hear views on possible consequences of the planned adjustments and reforms. “For example, do you have an idea how these reforms will be implemented? In other words, the law should not be lifeless, in particular these new norms. Make sure you will be able to materialize these decisions,” the head of state said.

He asked whether the amendments that are aimed to resolve the issues of the law enforcement practice will turn into loopholes for criminals.

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