Prosecutors seek withdrawal of penal code reform bill

Prosecutors seek withdrawal of penal code reform bill

A day after Justice Minister Michalis Kalogirou submitted a reformed penal code to Parliament for debate, the union representing the country’s prosecutors called for its withdrawal, complaining about several of its provisions that foresee the more lenient treatment of offenders.

The fact that the legislation foresees several felonies – including serial thefts, fraud and forgery – being reclassified as misdemeanors and the reduction of existing limits on sentences for certain crimes would lead to “mass releases for a plethora of cases, putting public safety at risk and cultivating the impression among victims of crimes that impunity rules.” 

The new code also foresees heavier sentences for racist crimes and rape, as well as prison time for the bribery of politicians. However, prosecutors complained that the provisions for bribery were not strict enough and would lead to several cases expiring under the statute of limitations.

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