July 09 2012
In light of its next evaluation by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development working group on corruption, the Ministry of Justice drafted a circular on February 9 2012 in order to:
The circular lists the latest important legislative innovations, particularly in fighting international corruption:
In order to fight corruption effectively, the circular states that every state employee who acquires knowledge of a crime or an offence in the course of exercising his or her duties must immediately inform the public prosecutor and must transmit all information and reports connected to their knowledge of the offence to the competent judge.(2)
The same obligation applies to statutory auditors.(3) Unlike state employees, a breach of this obligation by statutory auditors constitutes a criminal offence punishable by a five-year prison term and a fine of €75,000.
The circular recommends severe and dissuasive penalties (ie, high fines and additional punishments, such as exclusion from procurement contracts) for every legal person convicted of bribing foreign public officials. Additionally, as specified by recent case law,(4) the commencement of the limitation period in which a case must be brought only starts to run from the time that the allegations of corruption and hidden breaches of trust were discovered.
For further information on this topic please contact Philippe Blaquier-Cirelli at DLA Piper by telephone (+33 01 40 15 24 84), fax (+33 01 40 15 24 03) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org).
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