Iraq considering pardon for thousand prisoners

The Iraqi government is considering pardons for several thousand people convicted of insurgency-related offenses as a move toward national reconciliation, Iraqi officials said Monday.

Iraq considering pardon for thousand prisoners
As a first step, a committee is being formed to study the legal aspects, including what offenses might be excluded and whether any pardon would require parliamentary approval.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because the move is in the preparation stages and has not been formally announced.

But Sunni lawmaker Nasser Al Ani, who is in charge of President Jalal Talabani's office, said any pardons must be in line with the Iraqi constitution, which could require parliamentary approval.

That could complicate the process because different Sunni and Shia factions would haggle over the percentages of each sectarian group covered by pardons.

The officials stressed that the pardons would be limited to those convicted of offenses rather than the tens of thousands held without charge by both US and Iraqi forces.

The top US commander in Iraq, Gen. David Petraeus, has said he plans drastic cuts in the number of Iraqis in US custody _ about 25,000 _ by the end of the year.

Sunni politicians, notably Vice President Tariq Al Hashemi, have been pushing the government to release thousands of detainees, most of whom are believed to be Sunnis.


Agencies

Güncelleme Tarihi: 11 Aralık 2007, 11:37
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