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Rada to introduce criminal responsibility for slander

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Sept. 18, 2012, 7:41 p.m. | Ukraine — by Interfax-Ukraine

The Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine's parliament, is to return to the legislation the notion of slander and introduce criminal responsibility for such actions.
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The Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine's parliament, is to return to the legislation the notion of slander and introduce criminal responsibility for such actions.

Some 244 of the 347 MPs registered at the parliament's session on Tuesday, Sept. 18, voted at first reading for the bill on amendments to the Criminal Code and the Criminal Procedure Code of Ukraine on the toughening of punishments for the infringement of the honor, dignity and business reputation of a person.

The author of the bill, a member of the Regions Party parliamentary faction Vitaliy Zhuravsky, registered the document in the parliament in July. The MP proposed to introduce the notions of slander and offence to the Criminal Code and the Criminal Procedure Code.

The document was revised in September and the notion "offence" was removed from it.

The document proposes to add Article 145-1 entitled "Slander" to the Criminal Code of Ukraine.

According to the bill, slander, or conscious spreading of deliberately untrustworthy information that defames honor and dignity of another person or undermine his or her business reputation, which results in serious consequences, should be punishable by a fine of 200-500 nontaxable minimum incomes or correctional labor for up to one year, or restraint of freedom for up to two years.

The media, investigators, prosecutors and judges should be fined for such actions by 500-1,500 nontaxable minimum incomes or punished by correctional labor for 1-2 years, or restraint of freedom for 2-5 years with a ban on holding certain positions for 1-3 years, according to the bill.

The same actions connected with unfounded accusation of a person of committing a grave or especially grave crime should be punishable by restraint of freedom for 2-5 years or imprisonment for up to three years with a ban on holding certain positions for 1-3 years, reads the document.

The bill also proposes to amend Item 1 of Part 1 of Article 477 of the Criminal Procedure Code with the phrase "under Article 145-1 (slander)" after the words "under Article 145 (illicit disclosure of medical secrecy)."

The document will take effect on December 1, 2012.

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