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Patriarchate’s and Ministry’s aims meet

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Tuesday, October 30
300 inmates will be released early. A statement concerning the issue was made by the Minister of Corrections and Legal Assistance, Sozar Subari, on October 29.

“Prior October 27, 35 inmates had already been released. Nearly 300 inmates will share the same fate in the near future, Subari underscored.

Subari emphasized that early release might be used with any type of crime.

“We have changed our attitude; there are definite criteria. In the case that a prisoner meets the criteria they will be released. As for the political prisoners, this issue goes out of the ministry’s frames’ and will be discussed in the parliament,” Subari said.

Suibari also stated that the Parliament would not hesitate discussing the cases of the political prisoners.

The minister has highlighted that the amnesty will not be universal. "Due to the real functioning of the early release system and taking sick prisoners’ conditions into consideration, the penitentiary system will be seriously relieved,” Subari said.

The Minister’s statement was preceded by the Catholics Patriarch, Ilia the II's visit to the prisons and a special appeal towards the new government of Georgia. During his visit to

A Tbilisi N1 and N7 prison, Ilia II was accompanied by Subari.

Patriarch spoke with the prisoners, blessed them and appealed to the new government to release the prisoners.

“I hope that the government, president and others will have mercy and free the prisoners. I hope that due to God’s blessing, with our prayer and with the goodwill of our government, our prisoners will be free,” Ilia stated.

The Ministry will carry out the inmates’ re-socialization projects with the patriarchate.

Minority representatives hope that the process will be directed accordingly. According to MP,Davit Darchiashvili the number of inmates that will receive amnesty is flexible.

“Sometime there had been 100, 200 an so on. Currently 300 have been voiced. I hope that the majority will be responsible concerning the issue and those inmates will be released which are not dangerous for the society,” Darchiashvili told The Messenger.

Lawyer, Gela Nikolaishvili stated that the amnesty should affect all inmates more or less in some way. Some of the inmates might be released; some sentences should be halved and so on.

“The previous government has committed crime against [some] of the prisoners and they should be given compensation for this. The new government is responsible to improve such things which had been wrongly done by their predecessors. The amnesty will be a type of compensation towards the inmates from the state’s side,” Gelashvili stated, adding that the type of amnesty in accordance with the articles should be discussed.

“The new government should discuss the issue with human rights’ defenders,” Nikolaishvili said.

The lawyer of Young Lawyers’ Association, Mikheil Ghonghanzde said that the amnesty can touch on all types of crimes and that such a precedent had already existed in the country.

“Amnesty does not discuss concretely which prisoner should be released. Those articles are presented to which the amnesty refers. When those articles are defined those inmates are released which were sentenced with the article,” Ghonghadze said.

He has also emphasized that when there is concrete project to the Parliament concerning the issue, it would be easier to discuss it. The lawyer also stated that the amnesty, in general, does not refer to heavy crimes.