Presidential pardons

Petitions for pardons may be submitted by the accused (the suspect or defendant in case of a procedural pardon, and the person convicted in case of a pardon from serving a sentence), the defence counsel (attorney), and the official representative of the juvenile person or a relative of the accused. Paragraph (2), § 54 Act XCIII of 1990 on Duties stipulates that the duty for the pardons process is 5000 HUF. If the petition was submitted by the accused or the person’s attorney, then pursuant to section c) of paragraph (2), § 57 of the Act on Duties, the process is free if duties.

The pardons process
Documents containing the information required for a decision and the pardons petition will be forwarded by the proceeding authority to the Supreme Prosecutor prior to indictment, and if the indictment has already been filed then the court sends it to the Minister of Public Administration and Justice. In cases involving procedural pardons, the recommendation to the President of the Republic is made by the Supreme Prosecutor prior to indictment and after it by the Minister of Public Administration and Justice, whereas for all cases involving the remission or commutation of the sentence, conditional sentencing or juvenile detention, the Minister of Public Administration and Justice shall have the right to make a recommendation to the President of the Republic.

The Minister of Public Administration and Justice and the Supreme Prosecutor shall prepare the recommendation for a pardon exclusively on the basis of documents available, and the President of the Republic will also decide on this basis. The applicant or their delegated attorney will not be granted a hearing in person.

Reprieve, interruption of the sentence
The petition for a pardon does not postpone the criminal procedure or the beginning the prison sentence.

In the case of petitions or recommendations for overturning or commuting a sentence, the Minister may decide to grant a reprieve or an interruption of the sentence, the conditional sentence and juvenile detention until the decision of the President of the Republic.

Notification on the decision
Pursuant to paragraph (4) of § 598 of the Act on Criminal Procedures, the warrant on the Presidential procedural pardon will be delivered to the petitioner (to the suspect as well, if the petitioner is not the suspect) by the court or the prosecutor who is conducting the case, while in the case of pardons on convictions, it will be the first instance court to deliver the warrant. If the person sentenced has already begun serving the prison sentence or is in juvenile detention, then Presidential pardon will be sent directly by the Minister of Public Administration and Justice to the prison or the juvenile detention centre and will at the same time notify the first instance court.

If the President of the Republic has decided to deny a pardon request, there is no recourse to an appeal. The petitioner does however have the right to submit another petition for pardon - in accordance with the process outlined above - to the relevant authorities or courts. The decision on such a new petition is made independently of the previous petition.

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