Bulgaria's President's Office Granted Zero Pardons in November
The Bulgarian Pardons Committee at the President Office issued zero pardons in November out of a total of 60 applications by 33 convicted persons.
The Pardons Committee issued 42 rejections and terminated the review of 18 applications because it found no new circumstances after a recent pronouncement by the Vice President or due to the fact that the sentence had already been served by the time the application was being evaluated.
A total of 14 of the reviewed applications were filed by or about the same person, according to a report of the Pardons Committee cited by Sega daily.
The largest number of applications was filed by persons convicted of murder punishable by a harsh sentence, 8, and persons convicted of theft, followed by persons convicted of fraud, 6.
The majority of applications claim that the convicted persons are not guilty and that the penalties are excessively harsh.
Complaints about health issues are also common, as well as applications motivated with the desire of the convicted person to take care of relatives.
The Pardons Committee at the President's Office found that most applications had been filed by repeat offenders.
In the cases of first-time offenders serving prison terms, the Committee found no signs of true repentance in the behavior of the convicts, despite their formal declarations of remorse.
Most convicts were also found to be making no efforts to pay the civil action compensation to the victim of the crime.
An ad-hoc parliament committee declared last month that Bulgaria's former President Georgi Parvanov and Vice President Angel Marin had pardoned a total of 87 murderers during their 10 years in office (2002-2012).
Over 30% of the murderers pardoned by Parvanov and Marin had committed repeat offences, said Vladimir Toshev, MP of center-right ruling party GERB.
GERB MP Toshev further revealed that some of the pardons of murderers had been issued before the entry into force of the sentence of the respective criminal.
The committee also found that the former presidential team had often granted Bulgarian citizenship in exchange for "favors" such as donations or investments.
The Bulgarian Parliament set up an ad-hoc committee to investigate the legality of the pardons decreed by former VP Marin during his second term in office because of reports that then-President Georgi Parvanov had failed to issue a decree authorizing Marin to grant pardons during the five last years of his tenure.
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