Murderers convicted of homicide, rapists who sedated their victims, pedophiles and drug dealers are among the convicts who received a presidential pardon in March of this year. The pardon was given on the occasion of the re-election of President Anastasiades. As a result, their total sentence was reduced by ¼, as were all VIP convicts – former officials who starred in Paphos Sewerage Board (SAPA) scandal. This also applied to benefactors and the former owner of Orphanides supermarkets, Christos Orphanides, who served a 42-month prison sentence from September 2017 for unsecured checks of € 6.4 million.
According to information secured by Fileleftheros Newspaper, upon his re-election, the President of the Republic, Nikos Anastasiades, gave a general presidential pardon to all convicts serving prison sentences, aside convicts who fall under the following three categories:
- Those serving life imprisonment. These are persons convicted of premeditated murder.
- Those serving sentences for juvenile rape, sexual offenses against a minor to a third degree of kinship (cousin, uncle, aunt) and sexual offenses against persons or with persons under the age of 13.
- Those whose imprisonment sentence was judged insufficient by the Attorney General and have filed an appeal with a view to increase their sentence.
President Anastasiades publicly expressed his regrets to an underage victim and his family for having released the pedophile six months earlier, without having been informed that the victim resides in the same community as the pedophile.
Unfortunately, other pedophiles whose victims were aged 13 and over were granted the benefit of the presidential pardon and their total sentence was reduced by ¼ and their release is expected soon.
As expected, the presidential pardon granted to pedophiles of underage victims, aged 13 years and over, has caused a storm of reaction and social outrage that forced President Anastasiades to publicly express regret as well as initiate procedures to change the existing criteria that led or will lead to the early release of murderers, rapists, pedophiles and drug dealers. Yesterday, President Anastasiades had a meeting with the President of the Council for the Implementation of the National Strategy for Combating Sexual Abuse and Exploitation of Children and Child Pornography, Anastasia Papadopoulou.
President Anastasiades asked Ms Papadopoulou to prepare comprehensive proposals that would not only relate to criteria that need to be introduced in order for specific categories of convicts not to benefit from this general presidential pardon, but also to support victims of sexual abuse and exploitation, irrespective of age. It was also agreed that any further recommendations that are consistent with additional deterrence measures will be adopted by the Council of Ministers and, if necessary, by the House, an agreement that was put forward in order to strengthen the protection of minors against criminal offenses.