§ Lord Laird
asked Her Majesty's Government:
Whether they will list each case in which the Royal Prerogative of Mercy has been exercised in relation to terrorist prisoners since 1990; and whether they will give the reasons for its use in each instance. [HL3973]
§ The Lord Privy Seal (Lord Williams of Mostyn)
There is no central record of prisoners released using the Royal Prerogative of Mercy. However the records that have been traced by the NIO show that since 1990 the Royal Prerogative of Mercy has been used to 161WA release terrorist prisoners in the following circumstances:
providing information or assistance to the authorities—five cases;
terminal illness—one case;
remission incorrectly calculated—one case;
to correct anomalies in the treatment of offenders convicted of the same offence(s) and given the same sentence as co-defendants but who would otherwise have served longer in prison—two cases;
to release prisoners who would have been eligible for release under the Belfast Agreement had they not transferred to a different jurisdiction—two cases;
to release prisoners who would have been eligible to be released under the Belfast Agreement had their offences (which subsequently became scheduled offences) been scheduled at the time they were committed—eight cases;
to release prisoners who would have been eligible to be released under the Belfast Agreement had they not served sentences outside the jurisdiction 162WA having been convicted extraterritorially—five cases.
In addition, it was the practice before 1995 to release using the RPM terrorist and non-terrorist prisoners whose release date fell while they were on Christmas home leave.