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Harabin submits revised Act on the Origin of Property

Following a Constitutional Court ruling that struck down a previous draft of the Act on the Origin of Property earlier this year, the Justice Ministry has submitted a new bill for the government’s review, the ministry said in a statement released on November 18.

Following a Constitutional Court ruling that struck down a previous draft of the Act on the Origin of Property earlier this year, the Justice Ministry has submitted a new bill for the government’s review, the ministry said in a statement released on November 18.

In doing so, Justice Minister Štefan Harabin met Prime Minister Robert Fico's request in late October to submit such a bill by mid-November, the TASR newswire wrote. The bill is intended to provide an efficient tool to deal with individuals who are suspected of having had their property come from, or being used to bankroll, organised crime. This is the case when their official income is clearly disproportionate to their property value and they are not subject to criminal, tax or other relevant statutes, according to the ministry.

Under the provisions of the measure, property suspected of having a criminal origin will be temporarily confiscated until the outcome of the trial – without violating the principles of presumption of innocence or of retroactivity, which are included in the Criminal Code. The burden of proof will be evenly distributed between both sides - prosecutors and the suspect.

Unlike the current measure passed by Parliament in 2005 and deemed unconstitutional, the prosecutor is only asked to raise the suspicion of a disproportion between provable income and the property value, but they will also have to back up their suspicion of an organised crime link to the property with evidence. TASR

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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