Posted: 22.07.2022 16:56:00

Lukashenko signed amendments to Criminal Procedure Code: trial in absentia and cassation for convicts included

The Head of State, Aleksandr Lukashenko, signed law On Amendments to Criminal Procedure Code of the Republic of Belarus – as informed by the Belarusian leader’s press service

The law introduces the institution of special (absentee) proceedings in criminal cases in relation to the accused who are outside Belarus and who evade coming to the agency conducting the criminal process. At the same time, a list of elements of crimes is established for which special proceedings can be initiated against the accused. These include, in particular, an act of terrorism, genocide, mercenary activity, treason to the state, sabotage, creation of an extremist formation or participation in it, mass riots, and calls for sanctions.

In addition, taking into account the law enforcement practice, the regulation improves the procedure for appealing court decisions in criminal proceedings. For this purpose, along with an appeal stage, a cassation stage of legal proceedings is introduced; appeals and protests are to be studied in the presidium of regional and Minsk city courts – thus ensuring a wider access to appeal tools for citizens who disagree with the announced court rulings and increasing the effectiveness of reviewing such rulings that have entered into force. Moreover, the possibility is established to appeal in the appeal procedure against sentences passed by the Supreme Court that is acting as a court of first instance.

The amendments stipulated by the law are aimed at ensuring the inevitability of criminal liability for criminal acts committed, strengthening guarantees for implementation of the constitutional right to judicial protection, ensuring the legality and stability of judicial decisions in criminal cases.