Syria to Allow Bail for most Economic Crimes

Published May 14th, 2000 - 02:00 GMT

Syrian President Hafez al-Assad signed a decree Sunday allowing bail for people charged with economic crimes, setting aside a 30-year-old part of Syria's penal code, the official SANA news agency said. 

Justice Minister Nabil Khatib said the decree was in the spirit of "recent economic and social measures meant to assure the citizens' security." 

Just one day earlier, Assad signed a decree to encourage local and overseas investment and lifted a ban on individuals holding foreign currency, which was until then punishable by up to 10 years in prison. 

The bail can be posted in cash, through a bank or with property deeds, but will not apply to car thieves or counterfeiters, whose crimes "threaten the economy and social peace," Khatib said. 

Separately, the finance ministry has ordered the seizure of assets of three leaders of the state medical manufacturing company, accusing them of mishandling up to 12 million Syrian pounds (245,000 US dollars) worth of sales invoices, the official Tishrin newspaper said. 

Last week, two customs officials, in the capital Damascus and northern city of Aleppo, were dismissed for mismanagement, according to Syrian press reports. 

The measures are part of the anti-corruption campaign launched by the government of Mohammed Mustapha Miro, who took power in March. He replaced Mahmud al-Zu’bi, who has been dismissed from the Baas Party and faces trial on corruption charges -- DAMASCUS (AFP) 

 

© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)

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