Justice Commission votes to reduce penalties for embezzlement

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Madrid, December 13 (EFE) when there is no profit or personal enrichment after the agreement between the PSOE and the ERC.

From 9 a.m., the Commission will meet to issue an opinion on the minutes of the presentation which yesterday gave the green light to this penal reform, so that it leaves time to convene an extraordinary plenary session next Thursday where it could be debated and sent to the Senate so that it becomes a reality before the end of the year.

In its report, the presentation also incorporated the amendment of the PSOE and Unidas Podemos to change the majority system of the General Council of the Judiciary (CGPJ) when it elects the magistrates of the Constitutional Court, so that it will be also voted today.

With regard to penal reform, initially the bill promoted by the PSOE and Unidas Podemos eliminated the crime of sedition to transform it into an aggravated crime of public disorder, with penalties ranging from a maximum of 15 years of jail at 5.

But in the end, it will also change the crime of embezzlement, for which several trial leaders have also been convicted and for which various pro-independence charges are being pursued, thanks to the compromise amendment signed by the PSOE and the ERC and supported by Unidas Podemos and PNV.

Three types of embezzlement

The text distinguishes three types of embezzlement, none of which, according to the Catalan group, corresponds to the behavior that led to the organization of 1-O.

Archive image of former President of the Generalitat, Carles Puigdemont (c), Vice President Oriol Junqueras (i) and Minister of the Presidency Jordi Turull, during the institutional declaration after the signing of the appeal to the 1-0 referendum in Catalonia. EFE/Alejandro Garcia.

In accordance with the wording agreed for article 432, the authority or the official who, for profit-making purposes, appropriates, or allows a third party to appropriate, public property for which he is responsible will be punished with 2 to 6 years imprisonment. which will pass from 4 to 8 years in its aggravated type.

This is a formulation similar to that established by the Penal Code in force for any embezzlement, whether or not it is for personal enrichment.

But article 433 includes another new modality of embezzlement and will punish the one who gives to the public good who manages “an application different from that for which it was intended”, conduct which will be punished by imprisonment from 1 to 4 years. and a prohibition of 2 to 6 years “if there is damage or serious hindrance to the service for which it is intended”.

If this damage or serious impediment does not occur, the penalty will be disqualification from public office for 1 to 3 years and a fine of 3 to 12 months.

This new type, according to ERC, “does not correspond to behaviors such as the organization of October 1, and even less to prison sentences, since no damage or serious hindrance to the public service has been produced”.

Indeed, there is another type of embezzlement included in a new article 432 bis, which will punish with a prison sentence of 6 months to 3 years anyone, “without intention of appropriating it, intends the patrimony entrusted dependent on him for private use by reason of their functions””

If the culprit does not reintegrate the same distracted public assets within ten of the opening of the trial, “the penalties for the offense of embezzlement for profit will be imposed”, he concludes.

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