Wednesday, 16 April 2014

President Klaus announces partial amnesty

2 January 2013

Jan 1 (CTK) - Czech President Vaclav Klaus declared yesterday a partial amnesty on the 20th anniversary of the independent Czech Republic that will take effect on January 2, when the persons concerned will be released from prison.

Klaus announced the amnesty in his New Year's speech, the last he delivered in his second and last five-year term.

The amnesty relates to unsuspended prison penalties that were imposed by the end of last year, do not exceed one year in prison and have not been served as yet.

The amnesty also relates to the remnants of these sentences.

Klaus also pardoned unsuspended prison sentences or their remnants that were imposed on people who will be 75 years this year, whose sentences do not exceed ten years in prison and have not been served as yet.

Klaus also ordered that criminal proceedings that have not been ended with valid sentences and that were started more than eight years ago as from yesterday be halted.

This relates to criminal offences that do not carry more than ten years in prison. Criminal proceedings against fugitives are exempted from the presidential decree.

Klaus pardoned unserved unsuspended prison penalties or their remnants that do not exceed 24 months and at the same time the punishment was not imposed for a crime in which death or causing a bodily wrong was caused, or for a crime against life and health, against human dignity in the sphere of sex, or against the family and children.

The amnesty does not relate to people who were given an unsuspended prison sentence in the past five years before January 1, 2013, or those who were released from prison in the same period unless they are viewed as if they were not convicted.

The amnesty also relates to sentences, or their remnants, imposed on people who will turn 70 this year as long as the prison sentence does not exceed three years.

Klaus also pardoned suspended sentences imposed on people who will turn 70 years this year and people whose sentences do not exceed two years.

The amnesty also relates to the penalties of works benefiting the public and house arrest sentences that have not been served.

This is the first amnesty since Klaus became president in 2003. Before he assumed the office for the first time he said the president should not correct the judicial system with pardon or amnesties.

The president is the sole person in the country who can declare an amnesty.

Klaus's predecessor Vaclav Havel dispensed three amnesties while Czechoslovak and later Czech president (1989-2003).

Havel's first amnesty of January 1990 was the biggest post-war one. Some 23,000 people, or two thirds of then 31,000 prisoners in then 15 million Czechoslovakia were released from prison.

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