PPP asks govt to reveal identities of pardoned prisoners, repeat offenders

Last Updated on Monday, 30 May 2016, 12:10 by Denis Chabrol

As President David Granger prepares to pardon several more persons convicted for non-lethal offences, the opposition People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPPC) wants government to answer in the National Assembly several key questions about the convicts’ identities and process of pardoning.

Shadow Attorney General, Anil Nandlall wants Public Security Minister, Khemraj Ramjattan to tell the House the names of convicts, dates of birth, offences for which they have been pardoned, their criminal records and the length of the sentence being served at the time when the pardoned was granted.

Nandlall is also asking Ramjattan to what are the process and criteria that were used by President Granger or someone acting on his behalf to determine eligibility for the presidential pardon and under what statutory or constitutional provision, if any, did the President act in granting the aforesaid pardons.

The PPP also wants to know what is the approximate number of pardons is the President likely to grant annually and how many of the 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.

President Granger, at the weekend, told reporters that steps are in train to pardon another group of 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 eligible and we are looking at persons who might have been convicted for short periods for what we call non-lethal offences,” he said.

He virtually ruled out any men being pardoned in this batch.

The A Partnership for National Unity+ Alliance For Change (APNU+ AFC) administration has come in for sharp criticism for pardoning convicts on the basis that it does not send deter violent crime.

A very small number of the more than 70 pardoned convicts have been arrested again for offences such as armed robbery.