20 offenders exonerated by President

At least 20 offenders of various degrees have been exonerated of their offenses and pardoned by the President of Maldives.

A media official of Maldives Correctional Service confirmed on Tuesday that President Abdulla Yameen had exonerated 20 offenders under the local pardoning act. The authority had further confirmed the criminals are not serious offenders.

A newly gazetted constitutional subject cites about second chances and pardoning granted by the president of Maldives for criminal offenders who have resolved and become ideal individuals safe to be transitioned back into community.

President of Maldives holds absolute rights under the regulations and following each such decision by the head of the state a special committee that assesses the criminals subjected for pardoning, must be arranged by Home Ministry.

The committee would then carefully assess the conditions of all the subjects shortlisted for pardoning and will be presented back to President for his conclusion.

Offenders found guilty of first degree murder, terrorism, child molestation, drug trafficking would not be subjected for pardoning as well as criminals whose cases are in court appeals.

In addition to this explicit sexual offenders would not be pardoned under the act as well.

The regulation also dictates that offenders carrying single offense or charge are considered and another criterion of completing one-fourth of their incarceration term is crucial to become subjected for pardoning.

Post assessment of the committee, the offenders must undergo a rehabilitation process and President would pardon the individuals once they complete it.

Upon President's decision of pardoning offenders, the details would be disclosed to Home Ministry, who in return would officially announce it to Maldives Correctional Service who would implement the process.

Pardoning trivial offenders and releasing them back to community has been a long practiced act in Maldives with previous governments and state heads pardoning various criminals in past years.