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President tables in parliament bill on decriminalization of economic crimes

  • President tables in parliament bill on decriminalization of economic crimes
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Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych has tabled in parliament a bill on the decriminalization of economic crimes. The respective bill was registered in the Verkhovna Rada on Tuesday, according to its official website.

The bill On Amendments to Several Legislative Acts of Ukraine (concerning humanisation of responsibility for offences in the sphere of economic operations) envisages amendments to a selection of articles from the Criminal Procedural Code, the Code of Administrative Violations, the Penal Code, and the Correctional Code, specifically related to changed of punishment for certain crimes from deprivation of freedom to fine.

Draft law No.9221, President Viktor Yanukovych has brought in the Verkhovna Rada for consideration, provides not for changing punishment in the form of deprivation of freedom to fine or some other punishment for offences qualified by Article 365, Section 3 of the Penal Code (excess of power or office with drastic consequences), reads the bill text posted at the parliament website.

Earlier, Andriy Portnov, a presidential adviser and the head of the main department of judicial affairs, said that according to the bill, punishment for economic crimes would be replaced with financial sanctions.

"It is also envisaged that if the fine is not paid, then only in this case it will be possible to replace punishment with imprisonment under a court ruling," Portnov said.

In this connection, a number of experts stressed the need to introduce structural changes in the composition of agencies dealing with economic crimes.

At the same time, Interior Minister Anatoliy Mohyliov said that he did not see any need to make structural changes in the system of law enforcement agencies in connection with the possible decriminalization of economic crimes.

"The real punishment under these articles foresees a suspended sentence of two to three years in prison. Few people are imprisoned, and the money is not returned to the state. Therefore, the decriminalization of these articles would have been a justified and expedient step," he said.

Public prosecution is demanding that the Pecherskyi District Court of Kyiv to sentence Yulia Tymoshenko, a former prime minister and current leader of the Batkivschyna All-Ukrainian Association party, to seven years in prison for excess of powers when concluding gas contracts with Russia in 2009, under Article 365, Section 3 of the Penal Code.

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