Prosecutors and accused legal entities could enter into judicial plea agreements which could allow “faster recovery of the damage caused to the state” says MoJ
The initiative to introduce in the legislation the possibility of concluding a judicial plea agreement between the prosecutor and the accused legal person was discussed last week at the Ministry of Justice (MoJ). Such mechanisms already exist in most EU member countries as well as in the US, a statement said.
According to the MoJ, such a measure, if adopted, could lead to a faster recovery of the damage caused to the state (through restitution of the damage and payment of a substantial fine) and would allow the company to continue operating (keeping jobs).
Thus, according to the justice authorities, the legislation will have to provide for procedures that will not allow the mechanism to be “abused” (involvement of the chief prosecutor of the specialised prosecutor’s office and authorisation by the investigating judge, as well as the inapplicability of the mechanism to legal entities that harm the functionality of the state – for example, involved in bank fraud or other such crimes), but also strict monitoring of the clauses included in the agreement.
“Although the idea has yet to be explored, at present the situation is such that damage to the state is not recovered, fines are not collected, company accounts are seized, people are out of work, and those guilty of committing crimes go unpunished. The adoption of such a bill could change this situation,” explained Justice Minister Sergiu Litvinenco.
The Ministry of Justice had previously announced that it had sent the Government a draft amendment to a number of legal acts amending the Criminal Code and the Contraventions Code. One of the main proposed amendments to the Criminal Code concerns the extension of the applicability of alternatives to imprisonment, which will contribute to the depopulation of prisons, according to the authorities.
“The draft law aims to improve the regulatory framework, remedy some legislative shortcomings that, in practice, generate difficulties in the interpretation and application of criminal law rules, strengthen an effective system of humanization of the state’s punitive policy, adapted to the requirements and social realities,” the Ministry of Justice announced in a press release.
According to the Ministry, although the Moldovan legal framework provides for a fairly large list of alternatives to imprisonment, they are not applicable in most cases of particularly serious crimes or dangerous and extremely dangerous recidivism.