254. Subject to the second paragraph, all penal proceedings must be instituted within three years of the commission of the offence.
Penal proceedings instituted under section 242 must be instituted within two years from the date of the opening of the investigation leading to the proceedings. However, no penal proceedings may be instituted if more than five years have elapsed since the date of the offence.
A certificate from the Minister attesting to the date on which the investigation was opened constitutes, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, conclusive proof of that date.