…and who exactly are these convicts and what process is used to pardon them?
A number of prisoners who were convicted of ‘non-lethal’ offences are expected to be pardoned shortly by President David Granger. However, the Opposition People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) is calling for the government to answer several important questions as to the process of pardoning and the convicts’ identities.
Former Attorney General, Anil Nandlall, is urging Public Security Minister, Khemraj Ramjattan, to disclose in the National Assembly the list of names of these selected prisoners, their dates of birth, offences which they have committed and are being pardoned from, their criminal records and the length of the sentence that was served at the time when the pardon was granted.
He is requesting Minister Ramjattan to declare publicly in the House what are the process and criteria that were used by President Granger or any authority who was acting on his behalf to settle on eligibility for the presidential pardon.
Nandlall is also seeking an answer as to under what statutory or constitutional provision, if any, did the President act in granting these pardons for the convicts.
Meanwhile, the PPP/C is asking to be informed as to what the “approximate number of pardons” the President is most likely to grant on an annual basis and annually and how many of these persons, if any, to whom the President has granted pardons, have been subsequently charged with criminal offences.
If so, provide the names of those persons and the offences for which they have been charged, the PPP/C stated. President Granger, during the weekend had announced that presently there are steps being put in place to pardon another group of convicts; mostly mothers for offences except murder and manslaughter.
“There are certain criteria. It is not a reckless process. Persons who have been involved in crimes of violence- manslaughter or murder- will not be eligible and we are looking at persons who might have been convicted for short periods for what we call non-lethal offences,” President Granger explained.
He in effect ruled out any males being pardoned in this batch of prisoners that was selected.