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Another round of pardons is to be announced on the holiday of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary

By Etuna Tsotniashvili
Wednesday, August 26
On August 25 a session of the State Pardon Commission was held at the President’s Residence where 256 cases were discussed. Of these some 100 persons will be freed and others will see their sentences halved. Pardoning of prisoners is expected to occur on August 28 in connection with the religious holiday of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary.

According to commission member Marika Verulashvili the commission did not consider granting pardons in cases of prisoners who are accused of state treason, drug dealing, murder and robbery. The commission gives recommendations on cases of minor crimes, especially those involving women and juveniles. As the commission members said they discussed 30 cases involving juveniles and 15 of them will leave the jails by August 28.

“There are a lot of cases to be discussed. There are all kinds of cases, many of them are minor criminals. We also discuss serious criminal cases but we don’t grant them pardons unless the person has serious health problems,” Nino Kalandadze, deputy Foreign minister and a member of the pardon commission said yesterday. As Kalandadze said they also don’t discuss those cases of people who are accused of military mutiny. “We did not discuss cases of people who are accused in the mutiny as we do not consider that they are political prisoners,” Kalandadze added.

The session was also attended by Sozar Subari, the current Ombudsman whose term is expiring in mid September. According to him the commission pays significant attention to the person’s character itself. If there is a good chance that the person currently in jail is on the right way he or she has a better chance that the pardon commission will grant their appeal.

More prisoners may be pardoned as the Georgian patriarchy also will hand the president their list of prisoners whom they consider to be deserving of a pardon.

The head of the Pardon Commission Elene Tevdoradze said that the reason why less then half of the appeals were granted by the commission was the large number of cases involving serious criminals such as drug dealers, mutiny participants, etc.