Pardons Were Bungled But Decision Was Lawful

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File Photo: Ambassador Lionel 'Max' Hurst

Thursday 7th March, 2019-Government admits the recent pardon of prisoners was bungled but insists the decision was lawful.

The declaration comes amidst a third protest in as many weeks that was held today in the Government Office Complex, with protesters calling for the removal of the Minister of Education, Science and Technology over the ministry’s handling of the roll out of the E-Books and the mix up of the recent pardon among other issues

The protesters were scores of people from various groups who are supporters of the main opposition United Progressive Party, the largest gathering since they began several weeks ago.

Gisele Isaac is Chairman of the United Progressive Party. She says there were several issues for which people should be held accountable.

The pardons last week resulted in several people, including convicts serving sentences for murder walking out of prison as free men, but that was short lived, when the decision was rescinded.

Chief of Staff in the Office of the Prime Minister, Ambassador Lionel ‘Max’ Hurst admits the process was bungled, but he insists the decision by the Attorney General the Hon. Steadroy Benjamin was lawful.

Mr. Hurst was asked whether the government is prepared for possible lawsuits from the families of the people who were pardoned, but are now back behind bars.

The Prison Superintendent, it was pointed out, correctly made the recommendations to the Attorney General, and then the Minister in Cabinet has the responsibility to accept or reject those recommendations. The Cabinet learned that before the date of the release, letters were written withdrawing the warrants authorizing the releases. Because of a lag, the withdrawals were not acted upon until after the release had taken place.