under Soviet criminal law, knowingly giving false information to an agency or to an official authorized to institute proceedings either about the commission of a crime that did not occur or about the commission of a crime by a person who did not commit the crime. Under the laws of a number of Union republics, for a false report to constitute a crime, the naming of a certain person is mandatory (for example, art. 160, Criminal Code of the Uzbek SSR; art. 188, Criminal Code of the Lithuanian SSR; art. 195, Criminal Code of the Moldavian SSR; and art. 186, Criminal Code of the Kazakh SSR). In making a false report orally or in writing, the informer may act only with express intent, that is, knowing that the reported information is false.
Knowingly making a false report is punishable by deprivation of freedom for a term not exceeding two years or correctional tasks for a term not exceeding one year. In case of aggravating circumstances, the same actions are punishable by deprivation of freedom for a term of two to seven years (for example, art. 180, Criminal Code of the RSFSR). Aggravating circumstances include an accusation of an especially dangerous crime against the state or any other grave crime; artificially creating proof of the accusation (for example, submission of forged documents); or mercenary purpose (for example, to obtain the property of the convicted). All citizens 16 years of age or older are held criminally responsible for making reports known to be false.
A citizen’s bona fide error concerning the truth of information he is reporting, as well as a groundless complaint against a supposedly criminal violation of the law submitted to competent agencies and officials, does not constitute the crime of false report.
A knowingly false report as a form of crime is provided for by the legislation of foreign socialist states (for example, the German Democratic Republic and Poland). This form of crime is also known in the legislation of bourgeois states.
T. N. DOBROVOL’SKAIA