Cyprus president apologizes for pardoning sex offender


Cyprus's president has publicly apologized for the early release of a man convicted of sexually exploiting a minor, admitting that the decision to grant him a pardon wasn't "well thought out."

President Nicos Anastasiades went off-script at an event Tuesday on combating sexual abuse against minors to offer the apology for making a "mistake."

Anastasiades said he believed sex offenders who abused minors over 13 could be released earlier along with other eligible convicts in line with a custom to grant pardons when a new president is elected.

He said corrective steps have been taken so that no future president will repeat the error.

The sex offender's release in September – six month earlier than his scheduled release after serving a three-year sentence – caused a public uproar. [AP]