By George Psyllides
The authority that monitors convicted child molesters will seek a court order this week to put an individual under its supervision following the outrage caused by news of his early release 10 days ago.
According to a written statement, the authority decided to seek the order after it emerged that he had been released without supervision and without anyone notifying his victim, now an adult, who lives in the same area.
The authority also decided to review its procedures so as to improve and better implement its interventions.
It has also been decided to have the man monitored by a state psychologist on a weekly basis as well as welfare officers. Police have also been asked to ensure the victim is protected.
The government has been heavily criticised over the early release of a child molester who had benefitted from a general presidential pardon granted by Nicos Anastasiades after his re-election in February this year.
The man was released on September 9 and he returned home to the same neighbourhood as his victim who was not however informed of his release.
He had been sentenced to three years in jail and was due to be released on March 29, 2019.
His release was made possible by criteria that only exclude from early release convicts who had committed sexual offences against minors up to the age of 13. If the victim was older but still a minor, the convict was not excluded from early release.
The criteria had come into effect days after Anastasiades got re-elected.
Main opposition Akel MP Irini Charalambidou had accused the government of setting age criteria to enable the release of a prominent individual who had been jailed for sexually abusing a child.
The Legal Service issued a statement on Wednesday for the first time since the story broke, saying the child molester’s release was the result of a wholesale pardon granted by the president that included a number of convicts based on existing rules.
According to the constitution, the president can commute any sentence with the agreement of the attorney-general.
“In the case in question, as is customary with the election or re-election of the president, the president decided to exercise his constitutional right in a wholesale fashion, commuting all the convicts’ sentences by one-quarter, with some restrictions however, which exempted certain inmates due to the heavy penalties imposed on them,” the statement said.
The attorney-general agreed with the restrictions.
The inmate in question benefited, “as did many others,” from the wholesale reduction by several months, the Law Office said.
“Restrictions and exemptions imposed on any sentence commutation by respective presidents can be reviewed and made stricter and or cover not only the length of a sentence but also categories of offences.”