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Two presidential pardons issued

President Sauli Niinistö has issued two presidential pardons, both converting prison time to conditional sentences. Another 18 applications for pardons were rejected.

Tasavallan presidentti Sauli Niinistö.
President Sauli Niinistö. Image: Timo Korhonen / AOP

One of the pardons by President Niinistö on Friday was for two of the sentences given to the applicant for crimes including aggravated drug offenses, drug use and theft. One sentence was for 14 months and the other for three months, 15 days. The length of the sentences will remain the same, but become conditional.

The person receiving the other pardon had been sentenced to four months, 15 days for violations including drug offenses, theft and removal of a motor vehicle without the consent of the owner. This was also converted into a conditional sentence.

Altogether the president ruled on 26 applications for pardons on Friday. 18 of those were rejected and six disqualified as they did not fall under presidential authority.

Few pardons

President Niinistö has been more sparing of his use of pardons than his predecessor. Last year Niinistö issued five pardons and in 2015, four. A recent Yle review found that during her presidency (2000-2012) Tarja Halonen issued an average of 22 pardons a year.

The number of applications for presidential pardons has fallen by about half since the start of the century to an average of about 100 a year.

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