The Ministry of Justice bill “Amendments to the Penal Code, the Code of Criminal Procedure and other urgent provisions of the Ministry of Justice” has been submitted to Parliament for drafting, after public consultation.
The provisions of this bill were presented by Justice Minister Konstantinos Tsiaras and Deputy Justice Minister George Kotsiras last September (24.9.21).
According to the modifications of the new Penal Code, the penalties for heinous crimes, sexual crimes (rape, etc.) and crimes against the sexual freedom of minors are reinforced and life imprisonment is now provided as the only penalty, while the the crime of forest fire, which results in even one death, is also punishable by life imprisonment.
At the same time, there are changes in the new Penal Code, with a sentence of life imprisonment, without the possibility of another alternative sentence, for the offenses of high treason, murder, gang rape, fatal rape and murderous theft. . According to current data, an alternative sentence of up to 15 years in prison is foreseen.
Also, offenses for all heinous crimes, serious bodily harm and causing disability or deformity will be punished by 15 years imprisonment.
Also, for those who commit particularly heinous crimes or heinous crimes or serious offenses the conditions of release are increased by 1/5. Thus, lifers will be able to apply for parole at least after completing 18 years in prison.
According to a statement from the Ministry of Justice, the bill in question “aims to strengthen the security and protection of society as a whole against delinquency, while filling the legislative void caused by the abolition or demotion of offenses. traditional penal laws, after the entry into force of the new codes voted by the previous government ”.
According to the announcement of the Ministry of Justice:
• The protection of vulnerable social groups, such as minors, third country nationals, victims of sexual abuse and exploitation, trafficking who, because of their situation and the abuses they have suffered, cannot testifying without the support of specialized scientists is above all reinforced. In particular, this protection involves a wide range of amendments to the substantive and procedural penal rules, starting with the modification of the time limit for initiating offenses against the sexual freedoms of minors, the mode of criminal prosecution, the reorganization of minors. the provision providing for the possibility of a priority judgment of these cases but also the tightening of the conditions of the conditional release of the persons convicted for these offenses. This regulation aims to harmonize our criminal justice system with the European conventions governing the rights of protection and assessment of victims of minor and adult.
• The framework for conditional release of convicted persons as well as the lifting of the release of criminals who commit serious crimes punishable by life imprisonment (eg homicide, fatal theft resulting in death and fatal rape resulting in the death of the victim) . In addition, there is a ban on conditional termination of home sentence with electronic monitoring in major criminal offenses such as drugs, homicide, theft, crimes against sexual freedom, etc.
• Crime in common dangerous crimes such as arson, explosion, flood, etc. is extended, while special regulations are planned for the increase in crime in arson in forests. The offense of fishing in the coastal zone and inland waters, which punishes fishing without the authorization of the competent authority in the territorial waters of Greek territory under the flag of a third country, is introduced in the same logic of the protection of the sea environment.
• Covers legislative breaches or gaps in the prosecution and repression of criminal behavior which have been highlighted by judicial practice at the time of the application of the new codes and which it has been deemed appropriate to regulate (for example the attempt inappropriate in article 43 of the penal code, the dissemination of false news in article 191 PC, the false reference to the authorities in article 224 paragraph 4 of the penal code, bodily injuries to an employee in article 315A of the code criminal).
• The right of the Supreme Court prosecutor to order the conduct of the investigation and the bringing of the case to court with absolute priority for exceptional cases or for crimes related to crimes against sexual freedom and the economic exploitation of sex life is regulated. For the major victims of the above offenses, a provision is introduced for their examination in the presence of a psychologist, in order on the one hand to avoid their secondary victimization and on the other hand the country to comply with its international standards. . obligations for effective and adequate protection. Lastly, particular care is taken to guarantee the rights of minors who have been accused, with the ex officio appointment of a lawyer without the right to resign for crimes and misdemeanors.
In more detail with this bill, still according to the announcement of the Ministry of Justice:
1. The only penalty is life imprisonment for the offenses of high treason, murder, armed robbery and gang rape.
2. The formal and material conditions for the parole of the detainee are strengthened. In particular, in the event of temporary imprisonment for drug-related offenses (in a separate form), for criminal organization, terrorist acts, high treason, murder, robbery, arson, arson, extortion, rape of a minor, trafficking human beings, kidnapping and all crimes against sexual freedom, the possibility of parole is only granted if 4/5 of the sentence has been assessed with an advantageous calculation. Thus, from 3/5 valid today, it goes to 4/5. Therefore, the provision is strengthened for the above offenses, and even with the advantageous calculation of the sentence, according to the above, the inmate will stay longer in the penitentiary. In addition, for the above offenses, a real stay in a penitentiary will be required, equal to 3/5 of the sentence (real sentence). Thus, from 2/5 valid today, it goes to 3/5. It is also provided that in the event of a conviction for the above crimes to life imprisonment, the minimum length of stay in the prison of the convicted person increases from 16 years to 18 years (actual estimate). It is also provided that in the cases of the above offenses, dismissal is not allowed under the condition of home assessment of the sentence with electronic surveillance.
3. The statute of limitations for infringements of sexual freedom committed against a minor runs from one year after reaching the age of majority if it is an offense and from three years if it is a crime. this is a crime. In this way, it is possible, in particular for these offenses, which have a peculiarity, by their nature, uselessness, to have a sufficient period, during which the minor can report them, in order to be prosecuted and do not go unpunished.
4. It is planned that the offense of arson will be punished as a felony, in order to cope with the behaviors usually inspired by the search for financial gain and for which recent experience has shown that they must be more punished. severely.
5. The penalty for the offense of causing grievous bodily harm where the perpetrator sought to cause it is increased and disability and permanent deformation are added to the concept of grievous bodily harm.
6. A new penal provision is added in which the aggravating circumstance of committing bodily harm to an employee while performing work or within the framework of his work constitutes an aggravating circumstance.
7. The sanctions framework for human trafficking is strengthened in order to protect vulnerable social groups, such as third country nationals and victims of sexual abuse and exploitation.
8. The violation of sexual dignity, when committed in the workplace, is no longer punishable by imprisonment and prosecution ex officio.
9. The case of rape of a minor is explicitly provided for for the first time, punishable by life imprisonment.
10. A particularly important change is that in the event of an offense of sexual acts with or before minors (seduction of minors), the offense is now only punished in its basic form as a crime.
11. The attack on sexual dignity will be prosecuted automatically, when the victim is a minor (mainly between twelve and eighteen years) and not on appeal as today, because under twelve years the act is of anyway heavier and continued automatically. In addition, the protection of the minor is extended by the abolition of prosecutions presumed for brutal violation of good sexual morals of persons under the age of fifteen.
Finally, the list of offenses for which confidentiality must be removed include “serious bodily injury” and “arson” and “arson” offenses.