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FW de Klerk: No blanket amnesty for killers

By Michael McHugh

Published 21/10/2015

FW de Klerk
FW de Klerk

Cold-blooded murderers in Northern Ireland should not get a blanket amnesty from prosecution, the leader who oversaw South Africa's emergence from Apartheid said.

A Truth and Reconciliation Commission in South Africa gave an amnesty if the perpetrators of crimes could prove they were motivated by politics and who also made a full confession, former South African president FW de Klerk said.

"I am more a supporter of amnesty up to a point but, for cold-blooded, premeditated murder or assassination, I personally felt amnesty should not be given," said Mr de Klerk, who gave a speech at Queen's University Belfast recently.

"Settling the past is fundamental for any negotiation process, it becomes more difficult to agree on the past than it is to agree on the future."

In South Africa, Mr de Klerk recalled: "I am glad we did not give blanket amnesty to faceless people."

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