Former President Desi Bouterse and his four convicts will not submit a request for clemency to the President of Suriname. Lawyer Irvin Kanhai said this on Friday in a conversation with Surinamese media.
Once the Public Prosecution Service (OM) of Suriname makes contact, defense lawyer Kanhai says he will tell you when Bouterse and his four other clients can start serving their sentences.
The former army commander and former President Bouterse was sentenced, on appeal, to twenty years in prison on 20 December for his role in the December 1982 murders. Fifteen opponents of his military rule were tortured and executed. Elderly ex-soldiers Benny Brundenstein, Stefanus Dindo, Iwan Dijksteel and Ernest Jeffrey were sentenced to fifteen years in prison.
Last week, it appeared that Kanhai wanted to submit a request for clemency to Surinamese President Chan Santokhi. But after “daily consultations” with his clients, the lawyer decided not to do so.
Asking for pardon means that the convict must admit that he is guilty and is sorry. Kanhai is against it. In addition, he is now convinced that the men will not receive a pardon from the current president. “Why would you engage in a losing game? You know you will lose this case,” Kanhai said. Suriname Herald.
According to the lawyer, there are more options to release Bouterse (formerly). For example, he can appeal “on humanitarian grounds”, for example if the former president's health deteriorates.
Kanhai also says he “doesn't know what will happen in 2025.” After that there will be new elections in Suriname. If Bouterse's party wins, a new president could pardon him.
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