18:51 22.12.2016

Rada approves amnesty law, includes president's recommendations

The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine during a plenary session on Thursday passed law No 4255 on Amnesty in 2016, a measure which also applies to Ukrainian soldiers defending the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, with recommendations by Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko.

The law establishes criteria and defines which people fall under it until 2017, as well as limits application of the law.

The amnesty bill applies to conscripts guilty of committing a deliberate crime, which is not severe or very severe, as well as conscripts who commit a crime out of negligence that is not severe.

Amnesty may also been given to individuals, criminal cases against which have been reviewed by the courts, but which have not been ruled on, and if the individuals who committed the crimes are not adults, pregnant women, the parents of minors and invalid children

The law would amnesty participants in the war to defend Ukraine's independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, individuals who fought in the Anti-Terrorist Operation (ATO) and by individuals wounded in battle.

Individuals convicted by court of less than severe crimes, if not pursuant to Articles 408, 410, 411 of Ukraine's Criminal Code (section dealing with military service infractions), may be amnestied if they defended the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Ukraine by directly taking part in battle operations.

According to the document, the main criteria for applying amnesty is the danger posed to society of crimes committed, as well as the ill-health and age of those who committed them.

The law defines the category of convicts, to whom amnesty cannot be applied, "who committed severe or very severe crimes, using their official position (corruption-related crimes)."

The law also foresees a number of limits for applying amnesty. Crimes committed against the foundations of the nation's security will not be pardoned.

The law goes into force the day after it is published and can be applied after three months.

As earlier reported, Ukraine's parliament passed the bill in its entirely on July 7, 2016, but Poroshenko vetoed the bill on August 17.

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