Government submits to Parliament long-awaited reformed penal code

Government submits to Parliament long-awaited reformed penal code

After years of preparatory work and months of deliberations and amendments, Justice Minister Mihalis Kalogirou tabled on Monday a draft bill on the reformed penal code.

The move is much anticipated by the legal community as well as inmates who expect their cases to be affected by the changes.

The reforms include the reclassification of certain felonies and misdemeanors.

Specifically, the new code includes a provision increasing sentences for racist crimes and allows for heavier sentences for rape.

The new legislation foresees prison time for bribery of politicians and aligns the Greek code to the relevant international conventions that have been signed by the country.

It also specifies that running a criminal organization can be punished with up to 15 years in prison, instead of 10. This change could affect the ongoing trial of the members of neo-Nazi Golden Dawn, who have been charged with running a criminal gang – among others.

The law has also modernized provisions for protecting minors from sexual abuse.

Lawmakers are expected to vote on the new penal code on Thursday (June 6) and, if approved, it will come into effect as of July. 

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