Nandlall wants names and criteria used to pardon prisoners made public

first_imgOpposition Member of Parliament (MP) and former Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs Anil Nandlall has taken Government to task, requesting that the Ministry of Public Security provide details on the names of persons President David Granger intends to have released from prison.President Granger on Saturday evening had told Guyana Times that he intended to release some more prisoners, particularly women who are mothers and who have committed minor offences. The Head of State has so far released some 71 prisoners, both male and female since coming to office.Nandlall said it was imperative that Public Security Minister Khemraj Ramjattan, make known in the National Assembly the list of names of these selected prisoners, their dates of birth, offences which they have committed and what they are being pardoned from, theirFormer Legal Affairs Minister Anil Nandlallcriminal records and the length of the sentence that was served at the time when the pardon was granted.He is also requesting that the minister declare publicly the process and criteria used by President Granger or any authority who was acting on his behalf to determine prisoners’ eligibility for presidential pardoning.In addition, 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 People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) is requesting to be informed of the “approximate number of pardons” the president is likely to select on an annual basis.Recently, President Granger announced that steps are being taken to release another batch of convicts, most likely comprising of women with the exception of those who committed murder and manslaughter.President Granger explained: “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,”In recent reports, President Granger urged Guyanese not to be worried with his decision to pardon more prisoners for the country’s 50th Independence Anniversary, pointing out that he is acting in accordance with the law.The news of pardoning of convicts has created tension among citizens, recalling the recent riot at the Camp Street Prison, which claimed the lives of 17 inmates.President Granger reiterated that the process of pardoning prisoners is governed by certain criteria. “I have behaved always in accordance with the constitution and on the advice by the Minister of Legal Affairs and as far as I am concerned, as long as I continue to behave in a legal manner, in a constitutional manner, the people of this country have nothing to fear.”According to the government, Rehabilitative programmes were initiated for pardon offenders that will effectively aid in them reintegrating in society. It is the hope of the President and his Administration that the pardoned prisoners will honour the second chance given and be productive citizens.last_img read more