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Embezzlers can escape death if returning part of appropriated property: Vietnam's new law

Embezzlers can escape death if returning part of appropriated property: Vietnam's new law

Wednesday, December 27, 2017, 17:01 GMT+7

People convicted of serious embezzlement of property can escape the death sentence if they are willing to pay back at least three-fourths of what they have illegally taken, according to a new Penal Code that will take effect next year.

The set of laws, which was issued in 2015, will come into force on January 1, 2018, bringing along many significant changes.

The new Penal Code dictates that the death sentence should only be imposed upon those convicted of particularly serious crimes.

The capital punishment shall not be imposed upon people who are 75 years or older, according to the law.

Death row inmates found guilty of embezzlement of property may escape their capital punishment by giving back at least three-quarters of the embezzled assets as well as cooperating with officers and assisting their investigation.

According to the current law, those who appropriate property worth VND500 million (US$22,017) or more are subject to 20 years in prison, life imprisonment, or even the death penalty.

The new change is aimed at limiting the implementation of the death sentence for the type of crime and encouraging the return of appropriated property in such cases.

The new Penal Code will replace the “deliberate violation of state regulations on economic management, resulting in serious consequences” clause with a series of specific charges.

In addition, some charges, including child marriages, illegal business operations, false reports in economic management, and several others will be dropped in the upcoming changes.

Other changes

Individuals or organizations who fail to pay health and social insurance for employees for six months and over shall face up to seven years in prison.

The penalty will only be applied if violators repeat the wrongdoing for the second time, and have previously been slapped with an administrative fine.

The new laws will also add criminal responsibility for a legal person, which is considered a breakthrough.

The legal person will be criminally responsible for 31 offenses related to economic fields and environmental protection.

In accordance with the adjusted Penal Code, attorneys will be required to report the violations of their clients if the offenses are extremely serious or compromise national security.

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