Viet Nam will consider selling sex a form of bribery, Nguyen Doan Khanh, deputy head of the Party Central Committee's Commission for Internal Affairs, told Nong Thon ngay nay (Countryside Today) newspaper.
Has the Party Central Committee's Commission for Internal Affairs received any complaints or reports on using sex as a kind of bribery?
We know about this issue mainly from mass media, since it is quite sensitive. Those who do so never want to talk about it. But I believe many of us know about this from literature works and mass media, and I think those are trustable sources.
According to international experts, giving officials sexual favours is considered a type of bribery.
Bribes comprise not only material interests but also non-material – or spiritual – interests, which people give to officials holding positions and power in exchange for illegitimate benefits.
Many international judiciary experts have recommended that Viet Nam further amend its Penal Code, which was revised in June 2009, to consider using sex as a form of bribery a crime.
What was the commission's response to the recommendation?
The issue had been discussed at a recent conference on improving legal regulations on bribery crimes in the 1999 Penal Code by many domestic and international experts. Such recommendations also reflect the recommendation of the UN, relating to the convention on fighting bribery.
When we join an international convention, we are bound to that convention, as other member countries are.
Does that mean we would consider adding regulations on this issue to the Penal Code?
Laws, in general, have many missions, including forecasting future trends. The issue has been discussed and will need further study, because we are amending the Penal Code.
We would have to consider issues like this, that other countries know very well but are new to us, carefully before legalizing them. Many countries have included "bribery in the form of sex" in their legal regulations.
In your opinion, should we consider waiving criminal responsibility to increase the chance of discovering people who receive bribes?
In the conference I mentioned above, many participants said that we should not consider making bribery a crime, but I think otherwise.
However, with those who actively provide information to inspection authorities and support inspectors, we would consider lowering their punishment or even waiving their criminal liability. — VNS