romereports( Pope Francis has updated the Vatican’s Code of Criminal Law which was first introduced in the back in 1929. With this decree, the Pope abolishes life imprisonment, the maximum period of detention now being 35 years. The Pope also issued new sanctions for those who steal and divulge top-secret information, but also for those responsible for money laundering. The new code also specifies the legal procedure against peculiar cases of child abuse, such as prostitution and child-pornography.

Even though these crimes were already punishable, these updated laws offer further clarification about the procedure the judges need to follow in specific situations.

The new laws are directed to both individuals and legal subjects. The norms are to be enforced both in the Vatican State and for those who work for the Holy See, even if they commit a crime outside the walls of the Vatican.

Also, from now on, even crimes against the security of air or maritime navigation will be prosecuted by the Holy See. In this way, no-one who commits these types of crimes in other countries can ask the Vatican for asylum.

These modifications and updates were devised under the pontificate of Benedict XVI, and have now been implemented by Pope Francis.

The Vatican also announced that new norms will be issued later in the year to address the measures Moneyval calls the Holy See to implement against money-laundering.

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