The Hungarian Parliament amended the Criminal Code relating to statutory limitation of crimes of corruption. The statutory limitation period was uniformly increased to 12 years for all corruption crimes, including public and commercial bribery. The bill was adopted unanimously, reflecting thereby the reasoning of the proposition, which sets the objective of ensuring enforcement in all cases. The amendment came into force on 28th September. The decision will have no retroactive effect and will only concern crimes perpetrated after its entry into force.

The Hungarian Criminal Code, which came into effect in 2013, regulates public and commercial corruption in great detail and criminalizes negligence of directors who failed to properly fulfill their control or supervisory obligations.

In general, prosecution is barred upon the lapse of time equal to the maximum penalty prescribed, or after not less than five years. Under the previous national legislation, period of limitation varied by their seriousness between five to ten years in terms of crimes of corruption. Therefore, by providing uniform period of limitation for all crimes related to corruption, the amendment at hand can have a bearing both on the public and business sectors. Importantly, it will also affect offences committed by way of negligence by presenting more risks for those attesting legal compliance.

Due to the current amendment, it is now advisable for companies to retain documents and other types of evidence relating to corporate internal investigations in the corruption context for twelve years.

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