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President Zeman grants second pardon

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May 31 (CTK) – Czech President Milos Zeman has pardoned a man, who was to spend 29 more months in prison, for health reasons and this has been the second pardon he granted since he assumed the presidential office in March 2013, Zeman’s spokesman Jiri Ovcacek told CTK on Tuesday.

The prison stay of the man, who was punished for obstructing the enforcement of an official decision, was interrupted because he could not receive the necessary treatment in the prison.

No further information on the man and his health condition would be released, Ovcacek said.

The application for the pardon was submitted to the president by Justice Minister Robert Pelikan.

In February, Zeman granted his first pardon. He said he pardoned a seriously ill man who was given three years in prison for a minor property crime.

Zeman said even before the 2013 presidential election he would not declare amnesties and grant pardons with the exception of clearly humanitarian cases. He transferred the power to grant pardons to the Justice Ministry in November 2014.

Zeman’s post-communist predecessors, Vaclav Havel and Vaclav Klaus, granted almost 1700 pardons in 1993-2013. They either pardoned or changed the sentence or halted the prosecution.

Klaus granted 412 individual pardons during his two five-year terms (2003-13). He granted the biggest number of them (69) in 2009. Havel also granted 601 pardons during his term as Czechoslovak president (1989-1992).

The last communist president Gustav Husak gave as many as 2028 pardons in 1988 alone, which was one year before the communist regime collapsed.

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