Lisbon, April 10th, 2020 (Lusa) – The President of the Republic today disapproved of “false news” and “unjustified alarmism” about the exceptional regime of pardons and partial pardon of sentences, arguing that attention should not be distracted from this matter and the Portuguese people should indeed be aware of the facts.

In a statement at the Palace of Belém, in Lisbon, after which he answered questions from journalists, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa reiterated that this exceptional regime, which came into force on Thursday, “does not cover homicides or sexual crimes of all kinds “, or “crimes against persons, abuse of minors, domestic violence, violence against women, crimes against cultural or gender identity, theft with violence, fire crimes (namely forest fire) and criminal association “.

“It does not cover drug trafficking, crimes of active or passive corruption or money laundering, or crimes committed by political or public office holders. All of this is out of the question,” said the head of state.

“The cases that will come to the attention of the President of the Republic will be on an individual basis, taking into account the age and the health of any person who asks to be  pardoned, or has been proposed by a director or prison warden”, he added.

According to the President of the Republic, with regards to “news related to the legislation passed in parliament” and “doubts and speculations” that have arisen, it is important to provide this clarification, in order that inaccurate, sensationalised information is not taken as fact by the public, at a time when the Portuguese already have many concerns about the spread of Covid-19.

“We cannot be distracting attention from the true facts with false news and unjustified, alarmist statements. There is no reason for these alarms concerning those who may deserve pardon,” reinforced the head of state.

Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, who today published a note on the Presidency of the Republic’s website on the Internet about this exceptional regime approved by parliament, based on a proposal for a government law, considered that “the content of this legislation adopted in the context of the pandemic is clear concerning Covid-19”.

“I think it is clear that the President of the Republic is going to pardon on a case-by-case basis, there are no mass pardons, he is going to look at each individual case, taking into account the age and health condition of each person.” he stated.

The head of state stressed that “a very wide range” of crimes is excluded from this regime and argued that “there there is a specific, ethical, humanitarian, public health reason to be taken into account in each case”, which he will attend to “in an open manner that does not allow speculation or misinterpretation” .