Lithuanian parliament adopts higher penalties for corruption crimes

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Lithuanian parliament adopts higher penalties for corruption crimes

VILNIUS – The Lithuanian Parliament adopted amendments on Thursday to the Criminal Code which will bring about a significant increase of fines for corruption crimes.

“Revolutionary amendments as regards policy of penalties means that it will become very expensive to commit a crime. On the other hand, persons will face custodial sentences for extremely grave political corruption crimes,” Member of Parliament Vytautas Bakas was quoted as saying by local media.

The fines would be relative to the amount of damage done, benefit received by perpetrators, or bribe paid. For example, a person who gives or accepts a 50,000-euro (58,900 U.S. dollars) bribe would face the same fine or larger, the presidency explained in a statement.

Up to now, minimum fine foreseen in the Criminal Code was 38 euros (44.8 U.S. dollars). After amending the Code, this provision will be eliminated and the minimum fine will vary from 570 euros for a minor misdemeanor. Maximum fines can be up to 228,000 euros for serious crimes.

The Lithuanian presidency, which submitted the amendments to parliament, underlined that they were important as Lithuania seeks to join the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) which have made remarks about inadequate fines.

Currently, fines for criminal activity in Lithuania are minimal and do not act as deterrents, the presidency stated.

Lithuania hopes to join the OECD next year.

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