Angola: President Returns New Penal Code to Parliament for Review

Emmerson Mnangagwa (file photo).

Luanda — President João Lourenço has returned the new Penal Code to parliament for a review of a number of specified articles contained in it, particularly those related to crimes committed in the performance of public duties.

This is after the President received in the last few days the new Penal Code of the Republic of Angola for promulgation.

The Head of State has thus written to the Parliament speaker, calling him for a share of "reflections and preoccupations" about the said Penal Code and get some of its articles re-examined before it is promulgated.

Angop has learned that the concerns raised by the President in his letter have to do with the retrieval of the values of probity in the performance of public duties and national commitment to the prevention and combat of corruption at all levels.

João Lourenço considers that the "perspective contained in the new Penal Code could not be aligned with the current vision and transmit an equivocal message regarding crimes committed in the performance of public functions," the letter says.

For the President, "the article 357 and those that follow, particularly the crimes of economic participation in business, traffic of influence and corruption in the political sphere, follow the general guidelines of the criminal policy that influenced their making, but paradoxically tend to consider less severe penalties than those contained in the Penal Code still in force".

He argues that the prevention of crime and the preventive defence of high social values require that a clear message of the commitment of the Angolan State, the public servants and every citizens to the fight against corruption, impunity and other wrongs involved in the concept of "white collar" crime be transmitted to the society.

Another reason prompting the President to call for a re-examination of the Penal Code has to do with the Environment, where he considers there is need for an approach that inhibits environment-related crimes.

In the letter, the President highlights the need for protection of the Environment as crucial to the present and future of the planet, both for human beings and other species, calling for a more balanced approach to the dimension of the damage, the accountability of the offender and the reparation potential.

The President wants a new Penal Code adjusted to the goals pursued by the Paris Accord Angola is geared to accommodate in its legal system and the international dynamics on the issue.

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