17:15 GMT17 February 2020
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    NEW YORK (Sputnik) - New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo has signed legislation which closes the legal loophole and authorizes the state to prosecute individuals who were granted a presidential pardon for the same crime, his press office said in a press release.

    "Cuomo today announced he signed legislation (S.4572/A.6653) to close New York's double jeopardy legal loophole that protects individuals who are pardoned by a President from being prosecuted at the state level for the same offence," the release said on Wednesday.

    The release said that the new reform from now on will allow New York prosecutors to pursue the legal proceedings against people responsible for criminal acts where they have such jurisdiction.

    Commenting on the reform, Cuomo in the release said that this legal change will enable prosecutors to stand up against the abuse of power.

    "No one is above the law and New York will not turn a blind eye to criminality, no matter who seeks to protect them," Cuomo said. "The closure of this egregious loophole gives prosecutors the ability to stand up against any abuse of power, and helps ensure that no politically motivated, self-serving action is sanctioned under law."

    According to the release, the legislation takes effect immediately and applies to future, as well as past offences, if a person has not already been tried or entered the plea bargain.

    The measure, according to CNN, was proposed after reports surfaced that President Donald Trump might pardon his former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, who is serving a sentence of more than seven years for a fraud conviction that was uncovered during the Mueller probe.

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