PN spokesman for Justice Dr Jason Azzopardi said that the inmates who are going to benefit from the amnesty given by government will not be obliged to continue with the rehabilitation programmes. He said that this is not only counter to what Justice Minister Manwel Mallia declared in parliament and confirmed in a TVM programme, but also against the interests of the former inmates. Dr Azzopardi said that three such inmates had been following a drug rehabilitation programme and now these walked out without finishing the programme because they were not required to finish. He said that up to the end of the year another 6 inmates will walk out of the rehabilitation programmes in the same way.
Dr Azzopardi asked if Society is going to be better off in this way.
The PN speaker said that while the party is not against mercy, the message sent to society should not be that those who committed serious crimes can be pardoned scott free. He said that this is mistaken in principle and had not been applied by the PN since 1987. He noted that even the 1996 amnesty had excluded a whole list of serious crimes from this amnesty.
Reaction by Government
In a reaction, the Ministry for Justice categorically denied that ther had been any pre-election promise or commitment to grant an amnesty. The ministry published a list of all amnesties given under various administrations, saying that it was Dr Azzopardi himself who had proposed an amnesty when the archbishop was appointed in 2007.
Dr Jason Azzopardi