Belarus president Alexander Lukashenko signed Decree No. 3 “On additional measures to combat corruption” on 10 May, the press service of the president reported.
The document toughens liability for corruption crimes.
In particular, those convicted for corruption offenses cannot be released on parole and can not have the unserved part of the punishment replaced with a softer one.
Tougher liability will apply to corruptions crimes such as malfeasance in office, money laundering, abuse of power or authority, official’s inaction, illegal participation in business, bribery, or mediating a bribe.
In November 2018, Alexandr Lukashenko called to end the “vicious practice” of the state imprisoning a corrupt official, and “Shunevich (the Minister of the Interior – note) letting them out for good behavior”.
“I repeat again: it’s better to be poor but free than rich but in prison,” Belarus president said.
By the way, in some cases Alexander Lukashenko did pardon officials convicted for corruption — they were sent to head collective farms.
In March 2019, Belarus was criticized by the Council of Europe for failing to adopt anti-corruption standards of European countries.
The Council of Europe’s Group of States against Corruption (GRECO) criticized Belarusian authorities for not working on recommendations issued back in 2012. Twenty of 24 recommendations “have remained outstanding”.
Belarus ranked 70th out of 180 countries in Global Corruption Index 2018.
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