• Cyprus president apologizes for pardoning sex offender

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    NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) - Cyprus' 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.

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