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Anticorruption In Ethiopia

1. What is Ethiopia’s legislative framework for dealing with bribery?


The Corruption Crimes Proclamation No. 881/2015, which follows the main principles and rules set forth in the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia’s Criminal Code of 2004, is the most important piece of legislation addressing bribery in Ethiopia. The Revised Anti-Corruption Specific Procedure and Rules of Evidence Proclamation No. 882/2015 also contains special rules of procedure and evidence that are particularly suited to corruption offences in general, including bribery.


2. What is the definition of a bribe?

For anyone who gives or offers an advantage or gift to a public servant or employee of a public organization (including a conciliator, arbitrator, juror, trustee or liquidator, translator or interpreter) with the intent of persuading them to perform or omit an act in violation of the duty proper to their office.

Anyone who gives or offers a public servant or employee of a public organization a benefit or a gift before or after they do an act proper to their office in exchange for the performance of such an act.

Any public servant or employee of a public organization who, directly or indirectly, seeks, receives, or exacts a promise of a benefit for themselves or others in order to act or refrain from acting in violation of their official obligations.

Accepting money, a valuable thing, a service, or some other benefit from another with the intent of giving it as a bribe to a public servant or employee of a public organization, or using their bank account for such transaction, or creating conditions, mediating, or offering meeting places for such bribery, even if they do not receive any consideration for themselves.


3. What are the most serious violations of this legal framework?

Abuse of Power or Responsibility, Bribery, Acceptance of Undue Advantages, Maladministration of Government or Public Enterprise Work, Undue Delay of Matters, Giving of Facilitating Bribe or Undue Advantage, and so on are the main offenses under this legal system.


4. What is the legal framework’s jurisdictional scope?

Except for: a) religious organizations; b) political parties; c) international organizations; and d) edir or other similar traditional or religious associations, the framework applies to federal and regional government offices, public enterprises, and public organizations in the private sector that administer money, property, or any other resource collected from members or the public in any way.


5. Who can be held accountable for bribery? (Government officials, private citizens, legal entities,etc.)

Administrative authorities, public servants and officials, employees of public firms and organizations (as described in the answers to the questions above), and private people participating in corruption offences may all be held accountable.


6. Can a parent firm be held accountable for bribery committed by a subsidiary?

Ethiopian criminal law emphasizes that guilt is personal, and that no one may be held responsible for the actions of another. As a result, a parent firm will not be held accountable for its subsidiary’s involvement in the crime to the extent that it does not have any involvement in the conduct of the crime in varied degrees. This should not be taken for granted and will vary depending on the circumstances of each situation. If, on the other hand, a parent corporation acquires an unfair advantage or damages the property of a public office, firm, or organization, it will be forced to forfeit the unlawfully gained gain, pay its equivalent, or make good the harm.


7. Are bribes considered facilitation payments (small payments to expedite regular government action)?

Yes, facilitation payments, no matter how modest, are deemed bribery if they fit the conditions.


8. Is there any restriction on political and charity contributions under the law?

If a political or charitable donation is provided or received with the goal of influencing or rewarding an official or employee of a governmental administration, organization, or corporation to act inappropriately, it may be deemed a bribe. Aside from that, the legislative system does not impose any limitations on political or charitable contributions.


9. Is corporate hospitality subject to any legal restrictions?

Ethiopian law contains no explicit rules for corporate hospitality, thus any cash or other benefit provided in that context must be evaluated in light of the rules outlined in this notice.

Receiving a piece of value without payment or with inadequate payment without valid cause is, nevertheless, illegal for any public worker or employee of a public body.


10. Do bribery offenses have any defenses?

There are general defenses to all offences in the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia’s Criminal Code. These are arguments and excuses such as duress or compulsion, need, and so forth.

The specific defense offered is to refute the legal inference of purpose to achieve an excessive advantage for oneself or another, or to injure another’s right.


11. What are the main anti-bribery regulatory or enforcement bodies?

In Ethiopia, the Federal Attorney General has prosecutorial authority over corruption offenses such as bribery.

The Federal Police Commission is in charge of investigating bribery and other forms of corruption.


12. What are the legal ramifications of being convicted of bribery?

Bribery is penalized under Article 10 of Proclamation No.881/2015 by simple imprisonment for not less than one year and a fine of not less than ETB3,000, or by rigorous imprisonment for not more than ten years and a fine of not more than ETB40,000.

When the purpose of the breach of responsibility or duty solicited, the extent of the benefit received, the degree of responsibility or powers of the perpetrator, or the extent of harm to private, public, or state interests or advantages renders the crime committed under the preceding paragraph of particular gravity, the punishment shall be rigorous imprisonment for 7 to 15 years and a fine not less than $10,000.

When two or more of the situations listed in paragraph two of this response occur at the same time, the penalty is a sentence of ten to twenty-five years in jail and a fine of not less than ETB 20,000 and not more than ETB 200,000.

Bribery facilitation is penalized by either simple imprisonment and a fine, or harsh imprisonment for a period of not less than three years and not more than ten years, with a fine of not less than ETB 3,000 and not more than ETB 10,000.

There is a matching amount of fine for legal individuals, which is determined by the degree of the offence committed. These are: ETB 20,000 for each year of penalty for crimes punishable by simple imprisonment; ETB 30,000 for each year of penalty for crimes punishable by rigorous imprisonment not exceeding five years; ETB 50,000 for each year of penalty for crimes punishable by rigorous imprisonment from five to ten years; and finally, ETB 80,000 for each year of penalty for crimes punishable by rigorous imprisonment from five to ten years.