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"French President rules out Bastille Day prisoner pardon", The Irish Independent

8th July 2007

The French President, Nicolas Sarkozy has ruled out a traditional mass pardon of prisoners to coincide with the French national holiday, Bastille Day.

Sarkozy said that he wouldn't follow in the tradition of Jacques Chirac, who freed 3,500 inmates using his presidential pardon on July 14th last year.

He said that he objected to using his powers to relieve the country's overcrowded prison system.

The president told a French newspaper that he would only grant clemency in special circumstances.

Prison officers have expressed concern about Mr Sarkozy's comments, saying they feared violence from inmates.

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