Albanian parliament votes an amnesty on convicts

Albanian parliament votes an amnesty on convicts

Tirana, March 10, 2014/Independent Balkan News Agency

Albanian parliament voted on Monday (10.03) an amnesty for convicts and other people who are being tried on criminal charges. The voting of the amnesty was done without the participation of the opposition. It was predicted that the amnesty would involve around 350 people, but the law which was voted in parliament includes a higher number.

The amnesty involves all those citizens who have been convicted with 3 years in prison until December 31, 2013 on different criminal charges regardless of the remaining sentence.

This amnesty also applies for those citizens who up until December 31, 2013 have been sentenced with 3 years in prison, excluding those who have been convicted for serious crimes and state officials who are accused of different criminal offenses, mainly corruption affairs.

Minister of Justice, Nasip Naco has issued details on the bill which was voted in parliament.

He said that the amnesty must be seen as an act which benefits mainly convicted minors and women.

A part of the amnesty also applies to youngsters under the age of 18, women over the age of 55 and men over the age of 60. They benefit immediate release from prison.

People who have suffered 90% of the sentence will also benefit from the amnesty. Convicts who do not fall under any of these categories benefit a year and a half of reduction in their sentence for women and 1 year for men.

Naco said that the amnesty doesn’t have to do with overpopulation of prisons, but it’s part of the new policies for alternative sentencing.

The minister assured that the essence of this amnesty relates to the low danger posed by the person benefiting the amnesty or the criminal offense, thus protecting public interest, by not releasing people who endanger safety and public order.

One of the 6 articles of the bill details those criminal offenses that do not benefit from the amnesty. The amnesty doesn’t apply on murders, criminal offenses against the wealth and in the economic domain, crimes against the authority of the state, forgery of documents, the concealment or fake declaration of assets by people who have been elected or public servants.

The amnesty will also benefit people who have been given alternative sentences and issued fines.

The amnesty will also apply to all those people who are being tried in every level of the judiciary system, excluding serious crimes and state officials.

This is the 8th amnesty taking place in Albania since 1991. The last amnesty was announced in 2012 on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the independence of the country. Time after time, the president exerts his right of pardoning for particular individuals who have been convicted by the courts. /ibna/