(de Ware Tijd) PARAMARIBO – In a presidential resolution, President Desi Bouterse has granted a pardon to Romano Meriba, who had been sentenced to 15 years in prison for manslaughter. Sources claim that Meriba is a former foster son of the President, but the President’s Office denies this factor has played a role in the decision to grant a pardon. Eugene van der San, head of the President’s Office, says this was done based on strong legal grounds. In reaction, former Justice and Police Minister Chandrikapersad Santokhi says, “This would never have happened while we were in office.
Those who have taken the lives of others deserve no pardon.” Santokhi adds there might be circumstances that would lead to a different decision. “The requirement is, however, that a thorough preliminary investigation must be conducted and a decision should be based on the advice by the judge who passed the sentence in question.