Legal experts in the TRNC have called for a change in the outdated bribery laws, claiming that they are no longer fit for purpose in the modern era. A major issue is that the current law, passed in 1929, is far too lenient with Members of Parliament and focuses only on MPs who receive bribes and not those that initiate them. A further concern is that with the existing law, even if MP’s are found guilty of bribery crimes they are immune from any form of punishment.
MP Ejder Aslanbaba highlighted this issue when on 23rd June he rose up in parliament and claimed that he had been bribed. He stated that he had been offered 7,700 US$ to resign as MP and to support the vote of confidence for the interim government. This alleged bribe was offered to him by the leader of the DP party, Serdar Denktash.
The Attorney General investigated Aslanbaba’s claims and found no wrong doing. However Mr Aslanbaba claims he has recordings of the bribe events and stands by his allegations.
Outside of MP’s, the law clearly states that bribery of public officials is a criminal act and must be punished by imprisonment. However there has not been a single case of imprisonment for bribery.
As part of their sweeping proposals for reform, the current government of PM Sibel Siber has proposed that all immunity from criminal punishment should be removed from MP’s.