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Detainees to enjoy Virgin Mary Day reprieve

By Messenger staff
Tuesday, August 23
Hundreds of detainees may be released on the Day of the Virgin Mary on August 28. The Pardon Commission Sitting heard the cases of detainees and gave recommendations on Monday. Almost half of the 230 detainees matched the criteria of the Commission, including 10 women, 2 foreigners and 2 juveniles. “Lots of people were given recommendations. The Commission tried hard to consider the health situation of the detainees while several of those condemned were given recommendations to have their sentences halved,” Public Defender Giorgi Tugushi stated.

The three-hour session of Pardon Commission took place at the Presidential Residence in Avlabari. Those sentenced with minor crimes and half of the detainees with moderate crimes have been given relevant recommendation from the Commission. As the chair of the board Elene Tevdoradze said before the session, the applications of 18 juveniles were submitted but it was decided to discuss only 2 of them on the parole board session because priority was given to the minor crimes and those prisoners who are suffering from disease and chronic illnesses. “The number of women detainees was 39 but their cases are always more serious than men’s – that’s always surprising to me. So according to this fact it was very hard to make the relevant decision,” Tevdoradze explained.

As Nino Kalandadze, member of Commission explained they did not consider the applications of the detainees negatively “There’s no basis for discontent as a whole because a significant number of the detained will spend Virgin Mary’s Day at their homes,” Kalandadze said, hoping that the number of pardoned detainees would increase in the future.

The list of the prisoners with references may increase because the Georgian Patriarchate and the General Prosecutor’s Office would also provide a list of detainees which will be sent to President Mikheil Saakashvili for the amnesty planned on August 28.