What are economic gifts: this is their meaning

What are economic gifts: this is their meaning


Among the different economic terms that can be found associated with the crime of bribery is found as a gifta meaning defined by the Royal Spanish Academy (RAE) and mentioned on numerous occasions in the Spanish Penal Code.

Specifically, the term gift is defined as the “benefit or advantage of any kindwhether patrimonial or not, obtained by the authority or public official in the crime of bribery”, as indicated by the RAE. Furthermore, this benefit can be for one’s own benefit or that of a third party, as well as a direct or indirect benefit.

However, there is an important nuance in the term gift, since, in addition to referring to the crime of bribery, to be considered as such, the benefit obtained by the authority or public official must have “sufficient entity to undermine its impartiality in the exercise of its function”.

Gifts in the Penal Code

In fact, in the Organic Law 10/1995, of November 23, of the Penal Codethe term gift appears in different articles and cases, for example, in the title on injuries related to the illegal trafficking of organs, in the alteration of prices in contests and public auctions and, also, in Chapter V, about bribery.

The first of the articles of this chapter punishes with different penalties “the public authority or official who, for his own benefit or that of a third party, receives or requests, by himself or through an intermediary, a gift, favor or remuneration of any kind or accepts an offer or promise to carry out in the exercise of his position an act contrary to the duties inherent therein or to not carry out or unjustifiably delay what he should carry out.”

It also punishes with other penalties those who accept or request this type of gift “to carry out an act corresponding to their position”, as well as those individuals who offer or give gifts to an authority or public official. That is, the law punishes both the authorities who accept gifts or favors and the individuals who offer and deliver them.

In addition, the Penal Code includes an exception to punishment related to gifts: “He will be exempt from punishment for the crime of bribery the individual who, having accessed occasionally to the request for a gift or other remuneration made by a public authority or official, I will report the incident to the authority that has the duty to proceed with the investigation before opening the procedure, provided that no more than two months have elapsed since the date of the events.”

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