Gulf News

UAE widens scope of pe­nal code

Stiffer anti-cor­rup­tion laws cover acts of do­mes­tic as well as for­eign bribery now

- BY SAMIR SALAMA As­so­ciate Ed­i­tor

The amend­ments have brought anti-cor­rup­tion reg­u­la­tions in the UAE more in line with in­ter­na­tional reg­u­la­tions.

UAE’s anti-cor­rup­tion laws with re­gard to bribery have been fur­ther strength­ened, tight­en­ing the noose for any form of vi­o­la­tion, as de­creed by Pres­i­dent His High­ness Shaikh Khal­ifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

More wide-rang­ing than be­fore, the pe­nal code now ex­tends to cover acts of for­eign as well as do­mes­tic bribery, and in­cludes pub­lic and pri­vate sec­tors and in­ter­na­tional or­gan­i­sa­tions, a de­cree pub­lished in the of­fi­cial gazette says.

The pro­vi­sions also now ap­ply out­side the ter­ri­tory of the UAE to any per­son who com­mits any of the bribery of­fences set out in the pe­nal code, if the crim­i­nal or vic­tim is a UAE ci­ti­zen or if the crime is com­mit­ted by an em­ployee of the pub­lic or pri­vate sec­tor of the UAE or if it in­volves pub­lic prop­erty.

Ar­ti­cle 82 of the code now reads: “The court may, upon is­su­ing a con­vic­tion for a crime or mis­de­meanor, con­fis­cate the things and money seized as a re­sult of the crime, or which have been used or in­tended to be used in the crime, with­out prej­u­dice to the rights of bona fide third par­ties.

Pres­i­dent His High­ness Shaikh Khal­ifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan de­creed changes to the UAE Pe­nal Code that boost the coun­try’s anti-cor­rup­tion leg­is­la­tion.

The pe­nal code is now more wide-rang­ing than be­fore, cov­er­ing both for­eign and do­mes­tic acts of bribery. The de­cree cov­ers both the pub­lic and pri­vate sec­tors, as well as in­ter­na­tional or­gan­i­sa­tions.

The amend­ments, which took ef­fect im­me­di­ately, bring the UAE’s anti-cor­rup­tion laws more in line with other ju­ris­dic­tions, hav­ing been ex­panded to cover acts to bribe for­eign pub­lic of­fi­cials.

Par­dons

Ar­ti­cle 201 states that a par­don shall be granted to any of­fender in­volved in one of the crimes pro­vided for un­der the chap­ter, who in­forms ju­di­cial or ad­min­is­tra­tive author­i­ties of the com­mis­sion of any crime be­fore its de­tec­tion.

If he, how­ever, in­forms author­i­ties af­ter the de­tec­tion of the crime, the court may ex­empt him from pun­ish­ment if the in­for­ma­tion pro­vided leads to the ar­rest of the other of­fend­ers.

Penal­ties

Un­der the same ar­ti­cle, the court shall — at the re­quest of the pub­lic prose­cu­tor — de­cide to com­mute or re­place the penalty with a fine of not less than Dh100,000 and not ex­ceed­ing Dh10 mil­lion, or to ex­empt those who have been brought to the ju­di­cial or ad­min­is­tra­tive author­i­ties for any crime re­lated to any ex­ter­nal or in­ter­nal se­cu­rity or a crime con­sid­ered an of­fence against state se­cu­rity in the pe­nal laws, when it leads to the dis­clo­sure of the per­pe­tra­tors or proves they com­mit­ted the crime or re­sults in the cap­ture of one of them.

Ex­cep­tions

The at­tor­ney-gen­eral alone shall re­quest the court be­fore which the case shall be brought, to ap­ply the clause in the pre­ced­ing para­graph, if the re­quest re­lates to the supreme in­ter­est of the state or any other na­tional in­ter­est. If a judge­ment is is­sued in the case, the at­tor­ney-gen­eral may sub­mit the re­quest to the court that is­sued it be­fore or dur­ing ex­e­cu­tion

Ac­cord­ing to Ar­ti­cle 170 of the changed Pe­nal Code, any of the fol­low­ing shall be con­sid­ered se­crets of the na­tion’s de­fence:

■ Mil­i­tary, po­lit­i­cal, eco­nomic, in­dus­trial, sci­en­tific or so­cial se­cu­rity-re­lated in­for­ma­tion or other in­for­ma­tion, which are un­known ex­cept to per­sons who have such a ca­pac­ity by virtue of their po­si­tion or sta­tus, and which the in­ter­est of the coun­try’s de­fence re­quires that it re­main undis­closed to oth­ers.

■ Cor­re­spon­dence, writ­ten in­stru­ments, doc­u­ments, draw­ings, maps, de­signs, pic­tures, co­or­di­nates, and other things whose dis­clo­sure might lead to the di­vulging of in­for­ma­tion such as that re­ferred to in the pre­ced­ing clause, and in which the in­ter­est of the coun­try’s de­fence re­quires that it shall re­main clas­si­fied to per­sons other than those as­signed to pre­serve or use such.

■ News and in­for­ma­tion re­lated to the armed forces, the Min­istry of In­te­rior and se­cu­rity ser­vices, as well as their for­ma­tions, ma­noeu­vres, am­mu­ni­tion, sup­plies, per­son­nel and other things af­fect­ing mil­i­tary af­fairs, as well as war and se­cu­rity plans, un­less writ­ten per­mis­sion to pub­lish and an­nounce such things has been is­sued by com­pe­tent author­i­ties.

■ News and in­for­ma­tion re­lated to mea­sures and pro­ce­dures which are adopted to de­tect crimes pro­vided for in this chap­ter, and the ar­rest of cul­prits as well as news and in­for­ma­tion re­lated to the in­ves­ti­ga­tion and trial pro­ceed­ings, if the an­nounce­ment thereof, is pro­hib­ited by the in­ves­ti­ga­tion au­thor­ity or the com­pe­tent court.

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