Kazakh deputies were concerned with toughening sentences for a number of criminal offenses. At a meeting of the working group on amendments to the Criminal Code and the Code of Criminal Procedure with the participation of representatives of the Prosecutor General’s office, the Ministry of the Interior Affaires, the National Security Committee and the Anti-Corruption Agency, the issues of increasing the terms on such items as “bringing to suicide” and “malicious health damage” were considered. In addition, the working group discussed the issue of canceling the deal with the investigation for those accused of corruption.
The draft law “On amendments and additions to some legislative acts of the Republic of Kazakhstan on the improvement of Criminal and Criminal Procedure Laws” was submitted to the country’s Parliament at the beginning of October.
Many amendments to the Criminal Code and the Code of Criminal Procedure are purely corrective in nature and are proposed solely to bring various legislative standards into line with each other. However, there are amendments that significantly tighten current legislation.
For example, it is proposed to increase the punishment for rape from the current “from 3 to 5 years” to “from 5 to 8 years”. And the punishment in the second part of the same article (committed by a group of persons; with particular cruelty; by a person in execution of his/her duties, etc.) is increased from “5 to 10 years” to “from 9 to 12 years”.
The Attorney General’s office, which is the developer of the amendments, notes that this tightening is proposed to be introduced in accordance with the order of the President Kasym-Zhomart Tokaev to strengthen the punishment for crimes that violate sexual integrity. However, they immediately expressed fears that this could lead to an increase in the registration of cases of this category.
“The peculiarity of this corpus delicti is that often the accusation is based on the testimony of the injured party and the conclusions of the medical examination, and even if sexual intercourse occurred without the use of violence or threats (by mutual consent), the accused rarely succeeds in proving his innocence. The current version of this rule allows to resolve such situations through the institution of reconciliation of the parties. The proposed version, in which part 1 will be categorized as serious, excludes this possibility and has only punitive sanction. “The relevance of the statement “It is better to justify the ten guilty than to blame one innocent” is obvious,” the developers of the draft law philosophize in the comments on it.
It is worth noting that at the meeting of the working group it was also proposed to increase the punishment under the article “bringing to suicide” from “from 3 to 7 years” to “from 3 to 8 years”.
Deputy of the Parliament Zagipa Balieva was not happy with the proposed increase.
“Why only for one year, why not increase to 10 years? Where is proportionality?” she expressed out loud her claims.
In response, the representative of the Prosecutor General’s office, Almas Mukhametzhanov, said that keeping one prisoner costs the republican treasury $10 per day, and the budget, as is known, isn’t made of rubber.
In turn, the head of the working group, Kanat Musin, noted that every day is important in places of deprivation of liberty, and an increase in the sentence even for a year will be a very noticeable tightening.
Another article on which it was proposed to increase the sentence by a year was “Intentional infliction of grievous health harm”. At the same time, the deputies suggested toughening the punishment for “HIV infection” from “4 to 8 years” to “from 5 to 10 years”.
However, the most heated debates among the members of the working group arose during the discussion of penalties for corruption crimes. As the deputy Vasily Oleinik noted, today there is a practice in Kazakhstan when corrupt officials are exempted from criminal liability in exchange for recognition and extradition to the investigation authorities of all participants in the crime.
According to Oleinik, it is necessary to abandon the use of such “deals with the investigation”, except in cases where the crime is committed for the first time and only if the court considers it possible to release the guilty person from punishment.
In response to this, the deputy Balieva said that the rejection of such practices will lead to a decrease in the detection of corruption crimes.
“If a corrupt official knows that he/she will be punished anyway, he/she will simply be silent and that’s all!” noticed Balieva.
Almost all participants in the meeting did not agree with her. And the deputy Amanzhan Zhamalov even stated that the Anti-Corruption Department does not stop at anything in the fight against corruption.
“Today several people are detained in anti-corruption cases at once,” he explained. “They are made a condition: either you go yourself, or you say, you confess, and of course there is a complete slander, which in court is recognized as the main crime. In general, the slander of one person by another cannot be taken as evidence, especially if they are dependent on each other.”
Recall that the instruction of the President of Kazakhstan on toughening punishment and responsibility for a number of criminal offenses was stipulated in the Decree on the approval of the National plan of measures for the implementation of the Message of the state’s Head to the people of Kazakhstan on September 2, 2019. The plan consists of 81 activities, the major part of which should be implemented in December of this year.