Local March 28, 2014 | 9:50 am

New Penal Code is tough on thugs, soft on embezzlers

Santo Domingo.- Although the amendment to the Criminal Procedural Code provides for harsher penalties for persons indicted for major felonies, it strips citizens of the right to charge Government officials.

It also changes the maximum duration of the process, which will now be counted from the first actions, such as the setting of bail or the introduction of evidence.

Stricken from the legislation which president Danilo Medina is expected to sign was an article which stipulated as punishable, "the acts committed by public officials in the exercise of their functions or because of them and in violations of human rights, (for which) any person may act as a plaintiff."

The amendment also extends the duration of pre-trial detention, from the current one year to two years for felonies that carry up to 20 years in prison.

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