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Attorney General Expects No Pardon Before Legal Process Runs Course

June 4, 1985
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Attorney General Yitzhak Zamir affirmed today that the judicial process must run its course before amnesty or pardons can be considered for the alleged members of a Jewish terrorist underground now on trial and those already sentenced and serving prison terms.

Zamir stated that position in a written reply to Premier Shimon Peres who had asked him last week for a legal opinion to clarify the situation of the trial defendants and the amnesty issue. Peres made his request in face of a rising clamor for amnesty from Jewish settlers in the West Bank and their political supporters.

Zamir stated in his opinion that the legal proceedings must not be interfered with. He pointed out that only the President is authorized to grant amnesty and then only after the courts have handed down a verdict. This confirmed the view of most jurists that amnesty cannot be granted prior to trial and conviction. Zamir indicated that those presently in jail must wait until the trial of the others is over before they can petition for pardons.

The defendants, he said, are entitled to apply to the Attorney General for a stay in the proceedings. His legal opinion is expected to quiet some of the furore over amnesty which arose when Israel released 1,150 convicted Palestinian terrorists in a prisoner exchange on May 20. The trial of the Jewish terrorist suspects is expected to end shortly.

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