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Official Corruption

What the law says

Sections 87 of the Criminal Code Queensland states:

  1. Any person who-
    • (a) Being employed in the public service or being the holder of any public office, and being charged with the performance of any duty by virtue of such employment or office, not being a duty touching the administration of justice, corruptly asks for, receives, or obtains, or agrees or attempts to receive or obtain, any property or benefit of any kind for himself, herself, or any other person on account of anything done or omitted to be done, or to be afterwards done or omitted to be done, by the person in the discharge of the duties of the person's office; or
    • (b) Corruptly gives, confers, or procures or promises or offers to give or confer, or to procure or attempt to procure, to upon, or for, any person employed in the public service, or being the holder of any public office, or to, upon, or or for, any other person, any property or benefit of any kind on account of any such act or omission on the part of the person so employed or holding such office.
    is guilty of a crime.

What the police must prove

In order for the Police to prove their case at Court, they must prove each of the following matters beyond a reasonable doubt.

Section 87(1)(a)

  1. That the accused was employed in the public service (or was the holder of a public office)
  2. The accused was charged by virtue of such employment ( or office) with the performance of any duty did not touch on the administration of justice.
  3. The accused asked for, (received, obtained or agreed or attempted to receive or obtain)
  4. Any property (or benefit) of any kind
  5. For himself (or any other person)
  6. The accused did so corruptly
  7. On account of anything already done (or omitted to be done, or to be afterwards done or omitted to be done)
  8. By the accused in the discharge of the duties of the accused's office

Section 87(1)(b)

  1. That the accused gave property or a benefit to a holder of public office
  2. The accused did so corruptly
  3. The accused did so with the intention that the holder of public office should be corrupt
  4. The accused did so on account of the holder of public office doing or omitting to do something in the discharge of his duties

It will be necessary for the Police in every offence to prove that the accused was the person who committed the offence. Click here to learn more about identification evidence.

Maximum penalty

The Maximum penalty for the offence of Official Corruption is 7 years imprisonment, and to be fined at the discretion of the court.

Which court will hear the matter

This matter is indictable which means it is dealt with in the District Court.

Possible defences

Possible defences to this offence include but are not limited to

  1. Duress
  2. Identification i.e. not the accused
  3. The accused was not employed by the public service or a holder of public office
  4. The accused did not have the intention that his or her actions would corrupt the holder of public office.
  5. The accused did not ask for, receive, agreed or attempt to receive or obtain any property or benefit

Criminal Law Article written by Bill Potts (a Queensland criminal defence lawyer who is experienced in Official Corruption matters)

 

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