News Local Courts to be given powers to set limits on early prison release

Courts to be given powers to set limits on early prison release

The courts are to be given the authority to stipulate when a convict can apply for parole, under a new bill being drafted by the Justice Ministry, Phileleftheros reported on Tuesday.

It follows an uproar after a number of ‘VIP’ convicts were granted early release on parole, in cases without even having served half their sentence.

The new bill will also address the issue of presidential pardons under which convicts’ sentences are reduced on the election of a new president as well as at Christmas, Easter and on August 15.

It was as a result of such a decision that a convicted paedophile was released early from jail, to the dismay of his victim and her family who spotted him on a neighbourhood street.

Following the backlash, President Nicos Anastasiades asked Anastasia Papadopoulou, who heads a watchdog set up to combat the sexual abuse of children, to prepare a report with proposals regarding pardons so as to safeguard against a repeat.

Her report was submitted to the president last week and has been referred to the justice ministry and attorney general’s office. The aim is to ensure that pardons are strictly filtered.

 

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