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New Kazakhstan Criminal Code to expand release on bail use

28 march 2013, 11:30
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The new Criminal Code of Kazakhstan provides for the right to bail, Tengrinews.kz reports citing head of department of Kazakhstan General Prosecutor's Office Ruslan Toktagulov.

"The part that regulates release from criminal liability on bail has been amended in the new draft Criminal Code of Kazakhstan. Release from the criminal liability on bail has been introduced. A probation is set depending on the crime's severity," Toktagulov said at the scientific-practical conference called New Criminal Legislation of Kazakhstan: Problems, Trends and Improvement Paths.

He explained that a bailor will have to pay the bail that amounts to the maximum fine set for by the law for the committed violation. The amount will be returned to the bailor if the guilty person does not commit any other crime within the probation period.

This step is part of the government campaign known as decriminalization that is called to cut jailing and to substitute it with alternative punishments such as fines in cases of light or moderately severe crimes.

"If sanctions for a crime provide for a 5 year prison term the alternative punishment for this crime would provide a fine of up to 5 thousand MCI (minimum calculation index, in 2013 MCI = 1,731 tenge ($11.7)). We believe that it will enable us to refocus to use of fines," Ruslan Toktagulov said.

Judging from what Toktagulov says the bail regulation in Kazakhstan will be quite different from those western countries are used to.

Traditionally, bail is some form of property deposited or pledged to a court to persuade it to release a suspect from jail, on the understanding that the suspect will return for trial or forfeit the bail (and possibly be brought up on charges of the crime of failure to appear). In some cases bail money may be returned at the end of the trial, if all court appearances are made, regardless of whether the person is found guilty or not guilty of the crime accused.

But in Kazakhstan bails will be in the form of money only and will substitute other kinds of punishments such as prison term rather than just bound a suspect to return for trial.

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