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    King Philippe issued seven royal pardons in 2019

    The number of royal pardons issued by King Philippe in 2019 dropped by nearly half in comparison to last year. Credit: © Belga

    The number of royal pardons issued by King Philippe totalled seven in 2019, nearly half the number he granted the year before.

    The Belgian king issued four royal pardons concerning a Francophone convict and three concerning a Dutch-speaking convict, according to a spokesperson with the Justice Ministry.

    In line with past years, the ministry did not communicate any information about the crimes or the offenders, nor specified whether the king had chosen to commute or anull the sentences in question, Le Soir reports.

    People convicted of a crime can submit a pardon request to the king by posting a letter to the Royal Palace or by filling out a form on the Justice Ministry’s website.

    The requests are studied by the ministry’s pardon service and reviewed by the incumbent minister, which later issues his recommendations to the king.

    The king can choose to postpone the execution of a sentence, partially or in its entirety, for penalties ranging from imprisonment and fines, to the seizing of property or a driving ban, as well choose to commute a convict’s sentence or grant them a probationary period.

    In 2018, the king issued a total of 13 royal pardons, the highest number since 2017 and 2016, years during which he granted six pardons.

    Gabriela Galindo
    The Brussels Times