published: 01.01.2013, 18:53 | updated: 01.01.2013 19:32:06
Prague - Up to 6000 convictse may be released under the amnesty Czech President Vaclav Klaus announced today, according to preliminary estimates, Justice Minister Pavel Blazek (Civic Democrats, ODS) has told journalists.
He said courts will examine individual cases and will actually make a decision on the release.
All prisons will release some of their inmates.
There are some 23,000 prisoners in Czech prisons now.
Klaus´s amnesty takes effect on Wednesday when the first people could leave prisons, Blazek said.
The release of some may take days or weeks with regard for the the demanding administrative process.
Prison Service Director General Petr Dohnal and Blazek welcomed Klaus´s decision that will help the overcrowded prisons.
Blazek said, however, the extensive amnesty is not directly connected with the situation in prisons.
He said the amnesty will most often relate to the perpetrators of criminal acts of marring an official decision and petty property crime, such as thefts.
"It will be necessary to react relatively quickly because it can be expected that the information about that the president made a decision will quickly spread in prisons. This can naturally cause problems," Blazek said.
Blazek said the service has been working since this afternoon to prepare necessary documents for the courts that will be making decisions on prisoners´ release.
Blazek said the Prisons General Directorate will manage the situation in spite of the relatively short time for preparation.
Klaus announced the amnesty within his New Year´s speech early this afternoon on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of establishment of the independent Czech Republic.
This has been his first amnesty since he started to serve his first presidential term in 2003.
His second and last five-year term expires in March.
Prime Minister Petr Necas (ODS) countersigned the amnesty that is yet be promulgated in the Digest of Laws.
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