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Pardoned man is repeat criminal, uncooperative patient

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Prague, June 2 (CTK) – The convicted man, to whom President Milos Zeman recently granted pardon for health reasons, is a repeat criminal who did not turn up in prison to serve his sentence and who poorly cooperated with doctors, according to the report that Justice Minister Robert Pelikan sent to Zeman.

Zeman’s spokesman Jiri Ovcacek said the man’s application has met all the set criteria for granting a pardon.

On Monday, Ovcacek announced that Zeman pardoned a man who was to spend 29 more months in prison. He said the prison stay of the man 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, he added.

This has been the second pardon Zeman granted since his presidential inauguration in early 2013.

Zeman said even before the presidential election that he would declare amnesties and grant pardons only in exceptional, clearly humanitarian cases. He transferred the agenda related to the pardon applications to the Justice Ministry. The ministry selects the applications that meet the conditions set by Zeman and sends them to the Presidential Office.

Based on the law on free access to information, CTK received Pelikan’s comment accompanying the pardon application sent to Zeman.

Pelikan wrote the application met the conditions that Zeman set, but that he would not recommend to pardon the man.

According to Pelikan, the man had 15 criminal records. He was sentenced to prison for repeatedly driving a car, although he never had a driving licence. In late 2014, he started serving his prison sentence only after the police arrested him and escorted him to prison.

The man was to stay in prison until August 2018, but in January 2016 he was moved to a prison hospital because of his health problems and in March his prison stay was interrupted due to the diabetes from which he has been suffering.

The man has serious health problems and he needs insulin and dialysis. However, he did not cooperate with doctors in the past and he rejected treatment. He did not arrive in hospital despite being urged by surgeons and he insisted on undergoing a dialysis only twice a week, although doctors told him he needed it three times a week, the Justice Ministry writes in its report enclosed to the pardon application.

Due to his lack of cooperation with doctors, Pelikan rejected the man’s pardon application one year ago.

The man’s 70-year-old mother filed a new application, however.

“The man is seriously ill and his prison stay was interrupted because of his health condition. Dysfunctional lungs, regular dialysis, a finger amputation, his leg may have to be amputated too. His crimes were not serious,” Ovcacek told CTK.

Ovcacek said it is the president, not the justice minister who decides on the pardons.

In February 2016, 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.

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