World Bulletin/News Desk
A proposed amendment in the fourth judicial reform package which lowers the penalty for bid rigging has been met with criticisms from lawyers saying that the new penalty would not be enough of a deterrent, according to a Bugün daily report published on Sunday.
The amendment planned to be made to Turkish Penal Code (TCK) Article 235, which refers the crime of bid rigging, was included in the reform package following a proposal by the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP).
According to the current TCK, those convicted of conspiring to rig bids on public tenders will be sentenced to five to 12 years in prison, while the amendment in the fourth judicial package suggests giving a prison sentence of three to seven years. And if the bid rigging does not cause any damage to the state, the prison sentence will be one to three years and could possibly be postponed or turned into a fine.
Critics of the proposed amendment, among them criminal lawyer Seffan Kılınç, say the lowered penalty is far from being a proper deterrent and could lead to more bid rigging. Lawyer Mehmet Kasap, president of the Law and Life Association, said he thinks the current penalty of five to 12 years in prison should be kept to preserve the sensitivity over bid rigging crimes. “The penalty should be a deterrent to make people more careful about the tenders made on behalf of the state,” he noted.
Retired military judge Faik Tarımcıoğlu also criticized the amendment, saying there should be no postponement to the penalty “when it comes to such a shameful crime as bid rigging.”
The first steps toward passing the government-sponsored reform package were taken when the parliamentary Justice Commission approved it late on Friday. The package mainly aims to do away with violations of human rights, ensure fair trials, expand the boundaries of freedom of expression and prevent lengthy detentions and trials. The commission, led by Justice and Development Party (AK Party) Ankara deputy Ahmet İyimaya, began its talks on March 14.Last Mod: 31 Mart 2013, 23:05