Parliamentary disagreements over "kidnapping crime" hinder amending the amnesty law

2017/04/03 (00:01 PM) - Number of readings: 36 - Number (3892)

Baghdad / Wael Ne'ma

A special clause on "kidnapping" crimes threatens to pass amendments to the amnesty law, after disputes have narrowed to only one article.

The dispute over the "crime of kidnapping" prevails among members of the legal committee, which is concerned with amending the law and parliamentary blocs, without reaching a clear majority.

Political parties, most of them from the State of Law Coalition, support the government version that requested an exception to the kidnapping in all its forms of amnesties. But other parties insist on setting conditions to mitigate some cases.

The prime minister criticized the amnesty law a few days after it was passed, describing the parliament's additions as "criminal".

There is no legal impediment to sending the government another amendment, if parliament decides to ignore the second amendment the parliament receives from the government.

The House voted in mid-January to accept the government's second amendment to the amnesty law, after rejecting, at the end of last year, the first amendment prepared by the Abbadi government.

On August 25, the House of Representatives approved the amnesty law, which included all those sentenced to death and other penalties, and excludes 13 categories of crimes, including: the terrorist crime that resulted in permanent killing or disability, human trafficking crimes and all that fall under the heading of "captivity".

The law also excluded kidnappings, which resulted in the death of the abductor or the unaccounted for, perpetual disability, rape crimes, smuggling of antiquities and money-laundering offenses.

"The government rejects this issue and we will amend these paragraphs," the prime minister said. "We exclude all kidnapping crimes from the amnesty, but the House of Representatives restricted them, that does not result in permanent killing or disability."

Parliament has amended the crimes of terrorism, which excluded the government version, and its tail by requiring it not to cause death or maiming or destruction of a government facility.

"If a terrorist security man sees an explosive belt, he will sacrifice himself to dismantle the belt. In light of the law, he will be released, because he did not kill or blow himself up," he said.

At that time, the Legal Committee defended the amendments to the draft amnesty, considering that the government's version "includes very limited categories." The Commission added new paragraphs based on its powers stipulated in the Constitution, according to some Its members.

Divergence differences

Parliament recently completed the second reading of amending the Amnesty Law.
The legal committee had earlier confirmed the parliament's intention to introduce the amendments for the second reading after the Norouz holiday last month.

The differences, according to the Legal Committee, focused on the elimination of the general right, in addition to a split on the extension of the amnesty to criminal offenses of kidnapping. The deputies unveiled new proposals to support the inclusion of those who enjoyed amnesty previously the new amnesty measures.

Zana Said, a member of the legal committee, said in a statement that "the differences after the second reading have been reduced to only one article, kidnapping."

Said said that "the differences over the last article revolves between the members of the Legal Committee and the political blocs in the parliament," noting that "known parties - without naming it - are those who support the government's view not to include the perpetrators of the crime of kidnapping with amnesty."

The deputies from the coalition of the rule of law spoke, earlier, their refusal to include the crime of kidnapping by law, considering that those who participated in the transfer of the kidnapped car does not differ from those who carried out the kidnapping.

"The rest of the parties almost support the idea of ​​setting conditions for the crime of kidnapping, such as the absence of permanent defect to the abductor or waiver of the case," but stressed the difficulty of predicting the weight of any queset at the vote.

In contrast, the rest of the paragraphs of the amendment seem to be largely agreed upon. "We will not find it difficult to pass the rest of the law," said Zana Said. "There are close views among the members of the committee on those paragraphs."

"The government can make another amendment if it does not agree on what the parliament will decide, except for the paragraphs rejected by the House of Representatives," said a member of the legal committee.

In such a case, the government will have to send a new draft to pass the previous procedures from voting to accept or reject the amendment, then submit the amendment to the first reading, then the second reading, and ending with the vote.

Second time adjustments

The Legal Committee amended some provisions of the amnesty law, which it said were for the benefit of the law, such as revoking the waiver of the general right from convicted persons.

The Committee considers that the requirement of the government's waiver of the public right is "illegal", arguing that "the philosophy of amnesty is based on the waiver of the general right and the maintenance of personal rights."

The head of the Legal Committee, MP Mohsen al-Saadoun, said that the amendments, which Parliament is committed to implement the amnesty law, will expand the number of covered.

Saadoun said in a statement on Thursday that the latest statistics of the number of those covered by the amnesty indicated that "the inclusion of 900 sentenced and arrested of a large number exceeded more than 10 thousand were referred to Article 4 terrorism."

The Supreme Judicial Council published a statistical report at the end of last January on the release of 7168 general amnesties.

But the Legal Committee denied the statistics of the judiciary, noting that the Ministry of Justice has not released more than 380 sentenced since the date of entry into force of the law until 12/1/2017.

The provisions of the recent government amendment to the general amnesty law included every director general and above in the crimes of forgery of the editors, but the purchase of the remaining sentence increased from 10,000 to 50,000 dinars per day Hassan Toran, another member of the legal committee, said some details of the latest government version said that "any crime related to public money will only include the perpetrators of the return of funds."

"The committee is studying the inclusion of the beneficiaries of the previous amnesty with the new law, with the exception of terrorism cases," Tauran said.

The legal committee is discussing a proposal that includes the former amnesty, who committed minor crimes, under the provisions of the new law. The Parliamentary Committee also intends to replace certain crimes with fines, such as the crime of falsifying the certificate for certain categories.

The Turkmen MP denied reports that the punishment or commutation of the perpetrators of the crimes of "sodomy, incest and rape," stressing that those crimes are not covered by the law General amnesty.