FILE – Speaker of the House of Representatives, Ali Abdel Aal FILE – Speaker of the House of Representatives, Ali Abdel Aal

Draft law to amend Penal Code approved in Egypt’s Parliament

Tue, Jan. 9, 2018
CAIRO – 9 January 2018: The Egyptian Parliament initially approved Monday the draft law amending the Penal Code to criminalize the bribery of foreign public officials and to impose severe penalties on child abductors due to the increasing cases of children abduction.

However, the final approval of parliament was postponed until two thirds of the parliament’s members agree.

The move to amend the Penal Code is part of Egypt’s commitment to the United Nations Convention against Corruption, ratified in 2005. Egypt aims to strengthen its institutions to reduce corruption.

Since the bribery of public officials is not criminalized under the Anti-Money Laundering Law, amendments will be introduced to the Penalty Code to criminalize the bribery of foreign public employees.

Article 106 is added to the law; it states that if any foreign official or public international institution employee demands for himself, or for a third party, a gift, favor, or something of monetary value, or takes a gift or donation, to refrain from or perform one of his international duties, they shall be considered a bribe-taker. Punishment will be life in prison and a fine of not less than LE 500 and not more than double what he took or what he was promised to take.

Criminalizing this kind of bribery aims to make employees perform their public services for the public interests not to further their own interests, especially given that foreign workers, either in public sectors or governmental institutions, have marked an increase of 51.8 percent in 2015, according to a press statement issued by the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS) in June 2016.

Moreover, due to the increasing cases of children and women abduction in Egypt for the purpose of human and organ trafficking, articles 283, 289 and 290 in the Penalty Code were amended as they could allow for impunity of some offenders.

Some articles in the Penal Code will be amended according to the draft law approved by the parliament
on Monday. The articles are 289, 283 and 290 address harshening penalties on children abduction. The
article 106 will be added to the penal code to criminalize the bribery of foreign public officials.

Some articles in the Penal Code will be amended according to the draft law approved by the parliament on Monday. The articles are 289, 283 and 290 address harshening penalties on children abduction. The article 106 will be added to the penal code to criminalize the bribery of foreign public officials.

Children abduction:

According to article 1, the provisions of articles 283, 289 and 290 of the penal code shall be amended.

The amended article 283 stipulates that any offender, who hides a newborn child, replaces him or sells him to potential parents with new identities shall be punished with no less than seven years in prison.

Article 289 points out that whoever kidnaps a child by himself or through another person without child coercion shall be punished with severe imprisonment for not less than 10 years. Or, if kidnapping is accompanied with ransom demands, the offender shall be imprisoned severely for not less than 15 years and not more than 20 years. Yet, offenders will be sentenced to death or life imprisonment if the abduction is accompanied with a crime or sexual abuse.

Article 290 refers to whoever kidnaps a child by himself or through another person by child coercion shall be punished with severe imprisonment for not less than 20 years. Or, if kidnapping is accompanied with ransom demands, the offender shall be imprisoned severely for not less than 15 years and not more than 20 years. If an abducted is a child or a woman, the offender shall be imprisoned for life. Yet, offenders will be sentenced to death or life imprisonment if the abduction is accompanied with a crime or sexual abuse.

Criminalizing bribery by foreign public officials

According to article 2 of the draft law, article 106 shall be added to the penal code. It states that if any foreign official or public international institution employee demands for himself or for a third party or takes a gift or donation to refrain from or perform one of his international duties, he shall be considered to be a bribe-taker. Punishment will be imprisonment and a fine of not less than LE 500 and not more than LE 1,000 to whoever offers bribery to foreign official or public international institution employee.

In article 11 of the draft law, the definition of the foreign public official and public international institution employee is added to the law, stipulating that a foreign public employee is whoever occupies legislative, executive, administrative or judiciary position in a foreign country or any person who occupies public position for any foreign country, while the public international institution employee is any international civil user whose institution allows him to perform on its behalf.

Article 3 of the draft law cancels article 299 in the referred penal code while article 4 calls for publishing the amendments in the Gazette and be put into effect following the day of publication.
 
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