aA
The Lithuanian Ministry of Justice unveiled Thursday its proposal to decriminalize less serious economic, financial and property crimes, making them subject only to administrative liability.
Plans to decriminalize minor property and economic crimes
© Vida Press

The ministry has drafted amendments to the Criminal Code that would also exclude prison sentences for offenses causing minor damage.

Justice Minister Elvinas Jankevicius says the amendments would speed up processes involving crimes that cause major damage, and help reduce the number of prisoners.

"Since the very adoption of the Criminal Code in 2000, (Lithuania's) criminal policy has been, basically, on the tightening path. If this continues, I don't even want to predict what may happen," the minister said at a news conference.

"A relatively large number of minor offences for which criminal liability is not necessary, ineffective and economically inappropriate have been since criminalized," he added.

The ministry proposes to increase the threshold of property damage from which property and financial crimes become subject to criminal liability and to define when minor property crimes may be punishable by imprisonment.

According to Simona Mesoniene, the head of the ministry's Criminal Justice Group, the threshold for theft, fraud or misappropriation of property would be raised to 250 euros, from the current 150 euros.

The threshold from which an actual custodial sentence could be imposed would be increased to 500 euros, from the current 250 euros. If the damage does not exceed 500 euros, it would be considered a criminal offense punishable by fine.

For financial and economic crimes, such as tax evasion, fraudulent accounting, provision of inaccurate data on income, or failure to file a tax return, the threshold for triggering criminal liability would be raised to 7,500 euros, from the current 5,000 euros.

According to Jankevicius, the ministry does not propose milder responsibility for corruption, violent or drug-related crimes.

The ministry's initiatives have been supported by the Prosecutor General's Office and some judges.

Aurelijus Gutauskas, the head of the Criminal Division at the Lithuanian Supreme Court, says the country's legal system now has "excess criminalization" and its criminal law contains many "dead norms" that do not work or are misapplied, and often overlap with administrative law or criminalize civil relations.

Jankevicius expects the draft amendments to the Criminal Code to be discussed by the Cabinet by the end of the year before going to the parliament for approval.

BNS
It is prohibited to copy and republish the text of this publication without a written permission from UAB „BNS“.

Lithuania to send military transport plane to French-led Mali mission

The Lithuanian State Defense Council confirmed on Monday that the country will send a Spartan military...

1 468 new COVID-19 cases

On Sunday, 1 468 new COVID-19 cases were recorded in Lithuania. Since the beginning of the pandemic,...

Ex-premier and allies establish new political party

Lawmakers who left the opposition Lithuanian Farmers and Greens Unions have announced they are...

Three countries put on red list

Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Finland have been put on Lithuania's red list of countries affected by...

Polish President Duda to visit Lithuania next week (2)

Polish President Andrzej Duda will pay an official two-day visit to Lithuania next week, the...

Top news

Ex-premier and allies establish new political party

Lawmakers who left the opposition Lithuanian Farmers and Greens Unions have announced they are...

Lithuania to send military transport plane to French-led Mali mission

The Lithuanian State Defense Council confirmed on Monday that the country will send a Spartan military...

1 468 new COVID-19 cases

On Sunday, 1 468 new COVID-19 cases were recorded in Lithuania. Since the beginning of the pandemic,...

Three countries put on red list

Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Finland have been put on Lithuania's red list of countries affected by...

Plans to move Zappa's monument in Vilnius cause stir

Plans to move a monument to singer Frank Zappa in central Vilnius from a square named after him to...