The Government has softened a plan to make accountants and other professionals criminally liable for handling property generated from drug trafficking or other serious crimes. Officials have bowed to pressure from the legislature and agreed that defendants should be able to avoid conviction by arguing it was 'reasonable' that they did not suspect the money originated from illegitimate activities. Under a new proposal detailed in a paper submitted to the Legislative Council Bills Committee scrutinising the Drug Trafficking and Organised Crimes (Amendment) Bill 2000, professionals would not have committed a crime if they could prove it was reasonable for them not to have suspicions about the property. 'It does not require a defendant to prove that he did not suspect,' the paper says. 'It only requires him to prove that in all the circumstances of his case, it was reasonable that he did not suspect.' The changes are aimed at plugging a legal loophole concerning money laundering by cracking down on people who process the cash generated from drug trafficking and other crimes.