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Parliamentary questions
5 February 2014
Question for written answer
to the Commission
Rule 117
Jelko Kacin (ALDE)

 Subject:  Serbian Criminal Code, Article 234

It is to be hoped that the opening of accession talks with Serbia will encourage the current Serbian Government to continue implementing EU-related reforms with the aim of firmly establishing the rule of law in the country. One of the most important outstanding issues, which has raised doubts as to the independence of the Serbian judiciary, has been Article 359 of the Serbian Criminal Code on ‘abuse of office’, which has been widely misused to unjustly prosecute company owners and managers operating in the private sector.

The much-awaited 2013 revisions of Serbia’s Criminal Code have failed to ensure legal certainty for investors or end unjust proceedings against private-sector operators. We continue to hear of cases which have simply been reclassified under a new provision of the Criminal Code (Article 234 on ‘abuse of responsible position’) without due analysis, explanation, or right of appeal against the reclassification decision.

Our opinion is that the new offence of ‘abuse of responsible position’ needs to be narrowed down enough to prevent misuse.

Can the Commission explain what types of criminal conduct which are not covered by other corporate crimes are liable to prosecution under Article 234?

Can the Commission clarify how the decision-making process on the reclassification of Article 359 cases was conducted in Serbia?

Will the Commission insist that cases which were reclassified from Article 359 to Article 234 are properly analysed and that all unjust prosecutions are terminated?

 OJ C 305, 09/09/2014
Last updated: 26 February 2014Legal notice