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Justice Minister urges MPs not to allow serious ex-offenders to drive buses and taxis

Justice Minister Ionas Nicolaou has written to parliament seeking to preempt a proposal to change the law so as to allow those convicted of murder, drug trafficking or sexual offences to obtain a professional driving licence on their release, Phileleftheros reported on Friday.

The minister argued that such an amendment would endanger public safety and suggested that those convicted of such serious criminal offences could be allowed to obtain a professional licence to drive trucks, but not buses and taxis.

The letter follows moves by four MPs — Yiorgos Georgiou, Andreas Kyprianou, Aristos Damianou and Michalis Georgallas —  to amend the law on professional driver permits.

Phileleftheros notes that it is in line with the position of both the Transport Ministry and the police.

The Justice Ministry said that about 20 applications are rejected every year on the basis of the law that prohibits serious offenders  to hold a professional licence.

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