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Lukashenko signs law to introduce harsher punishments for crimes against state

 Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko signed the law on amending codes on matters of criminal liability on 9 March, BelTA has learned.

The main purpose of the document is to crank up the counteraction of crimes of extremist (terrorist) and anti-state nature.

The law expands criminal liability for high treason committed by an official onto all the individuals that do government jobs. High treason committed by a civil servant or a military serviceman can now be punished by death as an exceptional measure.

An additional punishment in the form of fines of up to 50,000 base amounts has been introduced for a number of crimes of anti-state nature. The measure is supposed to ensure unconditional compensation of the damage caused by such actions and deprive the guilty individuals of the means for continuing their criminal activities.

Criminal liability has been introduced for propaganda of terrorism, discreditation of the Armed Forces, other troops and military units, militarized organizations, and for violating requirements concerning the protection of state secrets.

The detention period for individuals suspected of committing high treason, conspiracy or other actions for the purpose of overtaking the government, espionage and agent activities has been increased from three days to ten days in order to enable maximum quality of investigative actions within the framework of the corresponding cases.

At the same time, the law scraps criminal liability for individuals, who were preparing to assault institutions that enjoy international protection or were preparing to commit an act of sabotage, if they forgo their intentions and assist with preventing the specified crimes.

A number of corrections have been introduced to the Criminal Procedure Code due to the current practice of the code's enforcement.