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Illicit Enrichment Amended Draft Law

Lebanon - Friday, July 3, 2009

The Lebanese Council of Ministers had approved on June 18, 2009 the amended draft law of illicit enrichment of law No. 154 of 1999. The draft law was referred on July 3, 2009 to the parliament. We present some main articles of this draft law: Article (1) defines funs acquired by means of illicit enrichment as funds acquired by an employee, a provider of a public service or a judge, or their relatives or partners or those who use their names which result obtained through bribery, use of influence, or exploitation of job. The definition also covers winning a tender or export-import licences etc., if enrichment occurred through illegal means. The definition also covers using public funds or state means to raise the value of real estate and purchasing of movable or unmovable funds from persons included by the law if the purchase occurred on the basis of prior information related to the jobs of these persons.Article (2) defines an employee as any contracted or employed person on full or part time basis of any rank or category in government ministries, public agencies, the army, security force or municipalities. A “person who provides a public service” is defined as any person who is designated by election or appointment as President of the Republic, Speaker of Parliament or Prime Minister, as well as ministers, parliament members, mayors, members of municipal councils, notary public, members of administrative committees if their tasks have financial consequences. A provider of a public service is also a representative of the State in mixed economy companies; managers of public facilities, judges, employees of the Finance Ministry and Customs; employees of the army and security agencies.Every judge and every employee of category 3 or higher and every army or security officer must submit within one month of assuming his/her job, and as a precondition for exercising his duties, a signed statement or declaration which shows the movable and unmovable funds possessed by himself/herself and his/her spouse and minor children.Article 4 stipulates that all the above mentioned persons must submit within 2 months of the end or termination of their service, regardless of the reason, a second declaration that shows what came to possess in Lebanon and abroad, along with spouses and minor children.Article (6) identifies the parties entrusted with receiving the financial declarations according to the status or rank of the employee. For instance, the heads of the three branches of government submit their declarations to the president of the constitutional council; the president and members of the constitutional council submit to the Minister of Justice; the governor of the Central Bank submits to the cabinet.Article (7) stipulates that any judge or employee who does not submit his/her financial declaration within one month of being asked to do so will be considered as resigning from his job. No employee or judge will receive his/her pension or end of service compensation if he/she does not produce evidence of submitting the second financial declaration.Article (15) stipulates the establishment of a special boy called The Investigation and Referral Body composed of 3 original judges and 3 counterpart judges. It also includes the head of the civil service commission and the head of central Inspection. The Investigation and Referral commission can while the investigation is proceeding impose precautionary confiscation of the suspect’s movable and unmovable funds, and can prevent him from leaving the country. The Commission has the right to request relevant information from public and private institutions regarding the case being investigated, including lifting bank secrecy rules on accounts. Evidence of illicit enrichment include possession by the concerned employee of funds that his/her ordinary income cannot afford, or his/her style of life reflects a standard which is incompatible with his/her financial resources; or sudden move from a certain material condition to a condition of enrichment.Article (15) stipulates that legal prosecution continues in cases of resignation, dismissal from service or end of service. In the case of death, the inheritors are prosecuted only financially. Also if a company is dissolved and if the one who benefited from illicit enrichment is a corporate or moral person then prosecution is valid. Article (22) stipulates that any person proved guilty of illicit enrichment receives an imprisonment sentence of 3 to 7 years and pays a fine between 20 - 100 million Lebanese pounds (13,000 - 67,000 dollars). The same sentence applies to partners or those who encourage such acts.Article (23) stipulates that the party harmed by illicit enrichment deserves a compensation for all the harm or damages that befell him/her.
Source: An-Nahhar


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