Govt unveils penal code revisions aimed at stiffening sentences, parole conditions for violent crimes

Friday, 01 November 2019 19:44
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The center-right Mitsotakis government on Friday unveiled a bevy of proposed revisions to Greece's penal code, with many of the provisions aiming to overturn the previous leftist government controversial changes - ones ratified on the last day of a Parliament session in July, just before the general election that the latter lost.

The relevant justice minister unveiled draft legislation with 57 revisions to the penal code, including a provision that mandates that a charge of breach of faith against bank executives, especially lending officers, requires the lodging of a criminal complaint by an affected individual.

In other cases of alleged breach of faith, the charge can be automatically lodged by a relevant prosecutor.

Additionally, in a bid to overturn the previous government's downgrading of the offense of passive bribery committed by office-holders, from a felony to a misdemeanor, a relevant draft revision is included in the bill. The revision will also cover staff at state-run companies and utilities.

Theft of items exceeding 120,000 euros in value will again be considered grand larceny in the penal code, with a maximum 10-year prison term envisioned. Additionally, burglaries by two or more perpetrators, comprising a criminal ring, will be upgraded to a felony, regardless of the value of the stolen items.

Moreover, grand larceny under the proposed legislation will include valuables and artifacts stolen from churches, museums and archeological sites.

A much stricter revision is included for vehicular manslaughter under the influence, citing the prospect of a life sentence - which in Greece is more than 20 years in real terms - while stiffer sentences are envisioned for street racing that causes injury or death.

 A revision directly touching on the controversy surrounding furloughs or the early release of offenders convicted of violent crimes, the new framework mandates that people convicted of multiple felonies will have the right to request their parole only after serving 22 years, instead of the current 17 - one of the most prominent changes made by the previous government.  

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