22 Feb. 2007

PM pledges shorter jail term for Hicks if convicted - World - smh.com.au

Is The PM Above The Law?

WTF? PM pledges shorter jail term for Hicks if convicted:
John Howard made the pledge yesterday as he sought to portray the Labor leader, Kevin Rudd, as too indecisive to be prime minister because Mr Rudd had been reluctant to say what he would do with Mr Hicks...

"I'm expected to know the answer to every single thing, which is fair enough," he said.

"But [Rudd] is asked what would happen in relation to a pardon if [Mr Hicks] came back, well surely Mr Rudd's got a view on that. You don't need the advice of the attorney-general's department to know whether you should think somebody should have a pardon."
I wonder what legal experts will make of all this? Rudd said he would seek the Attorney General's opinion before making any judgement on a pardon, whereas Howard rules out a pardon but makes a unilateral decision to write off Hick's five years already served. Does the PM actually have the power to do that? Are there not legal principles involved here?