On October 31, 2017, the Ministry of Justice proposed for public consultation the draft law on amending and completing some legislative acts (Criminal Code, Criminal Procedure Code, Contravention Code, etc.). This initiative follows the announcement made by the Minister of Justice according to which some economic crimes are going to be decriminalized, being justified by the necessity to improve the investment climate and attract foreign investors. Even if the project proposes some changes that will undoubtedly help to increase interest of foreign investors, some of the proposed amendments have been subtly introduced and do not comply with the proposed goal.
Explicitly, the draft law proposes to establish a new ground and conditions of exemption from criminal liability for a series of offenses specified in the Criminal Code, including offenses in the field of credit and bank management, those relating to the securities market, breach of shareholders' rights or obstruction of banking supervision. The exemption will be applied if the offense was committed for the first time, if the person repaired the damage and had paid the double amount of the penalty to the state budget. In the context of the recent banking frauds, we can state that the draft law tends to significantly reduce the investigation efforts of authorities related to this issue.
Given the above-mentioned, we strongly recommend to exclude from the list of offenses those one related to the financial crimes, money laundering and competition. We underline that the adoption of the draft law in the proposed version will further undermine the public trust in the Parliament and the legitimacy of its current composition, and will be a clear indicator of the absence of a genuine rule of law in the Republic of Moldova. At the same time, issues associated to this proposed draft law are in more detail specified in the Position Paper below.