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Under the Article 23 of the Penal Code 1999 (amend and supplement in 2009), the statute of limitation for penal liability examination:

1. The statute of limitation for penal liability examination is the time limit prescribed by this Code upon the expiry of which the offender shall not be examined for penal liability.

2. The statute of limitation for penal liability examination is stipulated as follows:

a) Five years for less serious crimes;

b) Ten years for serious crimes;

c) Fifteen years for very serious crimes;

d) Twenty years for particularly serious crimes.

3. The statute of limitation shall begin from the date a crime is committed. If within the time limit prescribed in Clause 2 of this Article, the offender commits a new crime for which this Code stipulates a maximum penalty of over one year, the time already past must not be counted and the statute of limitation for the previous crime shall be re-calculated from the date the new crime is committed.

If within the above-said time limit, the offender deliberately flees and is being hunted for by warrant, the time of fleeing away must not be counted and the statute of limitation shall be re-calculated from such time the person gives him/herself up or is arrested.

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Some cases to exempt the criminal liability:

Pursuant to the Article 25 of the Penal Code 1999, the following cases shall be exempted the penal liability:

1. An offender shall be exempt from penal liability if during the investigation, prosecution or trial, due to a change of situation, the act of criminal offense of the offender is no longer dangerous to the society.

2. If before the act of criminal offense is detected, the offender gives him/herself up and clearly declares and reports facts, thus effectively contributing to the detection and investigation of the crime and trying to minimize the consequences of the crime, he/she may also be exempt from penal liability.

3. Offenders shall be exempt from penal liability when there are decisions on general amnesties.

The statute of limitation for penal liability examination on crimes of infringing upon national security, crimes of undermining peace, against humanity and war crimes shall not apply to statute of limitation for penal liability examination.

 

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