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  Kislev 26, 5769 , 23/12/08

Supreme Court Panel: Only the President May Pardon

In a split decision, a three-judge tribunal of the Supreme Court ruled in principle on Tuesday that the justice minister does not have the option of not signing a pardon signed by the president, according to Maariv/nrg. The ruling requires the government to provide the president with the fullest information possible about any prisoner in question.

The decision was born of disagreement between then-President Moshe Katzav and then-Justice Minister Tzipi Livni about the reduction of a sentence for a convicted murderer, when Katzav overruled Livni's recommendation, based on the convict's behavior in prison. It could be relevant in the release of security prisoners for abducted Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.

In his minority opinion, Justice Elyakim Rubinstein said the justice minister's option of not signing was part of the system of checks and balances.

Other archived news briefs:Dec 23 2008, 02:16 PM, 12/23/2008