Secretary General of the Valencia regional group of the PSOE, Ximo Puig, is proposing the repeal of a law dating back to 1870, arguing that the law is now grossly out of date and is being misused in these modern times.
The law which the socialists want to have removed from the statutes is the law which has provided clemency to corrupt politicians found guilty in criminal cases, such as is currently being exercised by the former mayor of Torrevieja, Pedro Hernández Mateo, sentenced to 3 years in prison and 7 disqualified from office.
The psoe believes that this rule must be reformed to explicitly exclude the possibility that the benefits of a pardon on a convicted of corruption. The move to have the law repealed came about, as explained by the head of the head the PSPV, stating how the Valencia region alone has more than 250 politicians and civil servants facing crimes whilst in public office.
Puig argues that impunity “is poison to democracy and the rule of law”, and that “we must avoid situations where the corrupt do not pay”. The feeling that “breaking the law comes free generates social alarm”, with governments becoming “a kind of second court to those who have already been judged”.
The socialists advocate a reform of Article 2 of the Act to include the following paragraph: “There shall be no clemency, total or partial, when it deals with offenses committed by an authority in the exercise of his office of public trust, or taking advantage thereof for the purpose of financial gain for himself or for a third party”.
The psoe demands further that in all cases in which the measure of grace is granted the Government must “necessarily motivate the reasons for the pardon”. Another requirement that is intended to be incorporated into the reform will ensure conformity of the magistrate or trial court. Thus, the proposed new Article 11 would read: “It will be required that the judgment of the trial court or magistrate, there are reasons of justice, equity, public utility or social rehabilitation of the sentenced due to grant full pardon”.
Puig concluded that the adaptation of the law of the nineteenth century is essential to “help restore public confidence in democracy and institutions”.
Filed under: http://www.theleader.info/article/42049/