Suspects who admit culpability in corruption cases will be granted amnesty by the government in the latest incentive aimed at recovering stolen public funds without lengthy court proceedings.
The proposal is contained in the Anti-Corruption and Economic Crimes (Amendment) Bill, 2021, which proposes a deferred prosecution framework that will see a person suspected to have committed a corrupt or economic offence enter into an agreement with the Director of Public Prosecutions that will cushion them against prosecution.
“While the deferred prosecution agreement is in force, the person shall not be prosecuted for the alleged offence or any other offence on the same facts in any criminal proceedings,” the proposed law reads.
A deferred prosecution agreement (DPA) is an arrangement reached between a prosecutor and a company to resolve a matter that could otherwise be prosecuted.
The statement of facts contained in a deferred prosecution agreement shall be treated as proof of admission by the person who agreed.
According to the Anti-Corruption and Economic Crimes (Amendment) Bill, 2021, the DPP may impose on suspects, payment of a financial penalty or order them to compensate victims of the graft act.
“DPP may also order suspects of economic crimes to compensate for the loss of public funds and payment of interest on lost public funds or put as a condition for an agreement that suspects surrender all private assets acquired using public funds,”.
The suspects will also be under obligation to cooperate in investigations relating to the economic crime the DPP is intending to prosecute.
“The DPP may impose the following conditions; cooperation in any investigation relating to any possible offence committed by any officer, employee or agent of that person that arises from the same or substantially the same facts as the alleged offence.”
The Bill is sponsored by Nominated Senator Farhiya Ali, who is also Deputy Chief Whip of the Senate and is due for the first reading.
“The deferred prosecution agreements framework is in response to perceived deficiencies in the existing prosecution framework involving economic crimes,” Senator Farhiya. TAGS