President Rinkēvičs issues his first pardon

On August 2, newly-installed Latvian President Edgars Rinkēvičs issued his first pardon for someone serving a sentence.

President Rinkēvičs considered pardon requests for 10 convicted persons. Of these, nine pardon requests were not supported, but one convicted person was pardoned and completely released from serving  sentence.

The identity of the pardoned person and the reason for his or her conviction and pardon is not published.

Though it is still extremely early in his presidency, the move makes Rinkēvičs one of the more liberal presidential pardoners up to this point with one in ten applications granted.

His predecessor, Egils Levits, considered 409 applications for clemency and accepted just 21 of them. Among presidents since the restoration of Latvia's independence, the most generous so far is Vaira Viķe-Freiberga who granted 204 pardons from 979 applications.

Under the terms of the constitution, the president has the power to grant pardons to convicted persons. The President of Latvia can replace the uncompleted phase of imprisonment with a different and softer form of punishment, exempt the offender from serving the primary or additional penalty wholly or partially, or expunge the punitive record of the person concerned.


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