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25 January 2016, 11:35

New anti-corruption law enters into force in Belarus

MINSK, 25 January (BelTA) - A new anti-corruption law entered into force in Belarus on 24 January, BelTA has learned.

Belarus' General Prosecutor's Office informed that the law will primarily play a preventive role.

"The law aims to prevent corruption. The whole point of the new regulation is to prevent offences, eliminate loopholes in the legislation which could influence and contribute to the commissioning of such crimes as embezzlement through abuse of office and bribery in all its forms, especially in the area of public administration and economy,” spokesman for the General Prosecutor's Office Piotr Kiselev said.

Under the new anti-corruption law, the persons dismissed for discrediting reasons cannot be appointed to high civil posts (before five years after such dismissal expire). The persons who previously committed grave offences against the interests of the civil service or the crimes related to the abuse of office cannot be hired to the civil service (indefinitely).

Service retirement benefits will be canceled for corrupt officials. They will be entitled to old-age pension only. The property, the cost of which exceeds legal income by 25% or more, will be confiscated.

At the same time some provisions in the document soften the current legislation. For instance, the law canceled the responsibility for insignificant inaccuracies in declaring income and property (such as property acquisition date, the area of the land plot, the cost of a house and so on). According to experts, it will help avoid applying a formalistic approach to punishment.

The new document has also incorporated people's initiatives made during the public hearings of the bill. For instance, the law provides for the establishment of an institute of public control and describes the forms of citizens' participation in it. The law lifts a ban on combining several positions for persons fulfilling legally significant tasks which do not entail considerable consequences (heads of subdivisions, departments, workshops, laboratories at different enterprises).

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