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Stir over pardon issues continues

By Messenger Staff
Friday, January 15
The Human Rights Center has addressed the Parliament of Georgia with regards to developments related to former head of the Pardon Commission, Aleko Elisashvili, who states that majority MPs Eka Beselia and Manana Kobakhidze used to exercise pressure on him to pardon some prisoners when he served as the head of the Pardon Commission in 2013.

The Human Rights Center is concerned that the chairwoman of the Human Rights Committee at the Parliament of Georgia, Eka Beselia is still a member of the Prosecutors Council. They claim that this raises serious questions about the effectiveness and impartiality of the investigation into the alleged oppressive actions against Elisashvili, who is currently an independent deputy of Tbilisi City Council (Sakrebulo).

According to the address, the main purpose of the Prosecutors Council is to ensure independence and transparency of the Prosecutorís Office of Georgia and to promote effective implementation of its duties. That is why, membership of Beselia in the Council creates serious threats of influence over the Chief Prosecutorís Office that will interfere with conducting impartial probe into the alleged facts of oppression.

ďThe Prosecutorís Office is investigating the alleged pressure on Elisashvili from the chairwoman of the Human Rights Committee at Parliament. At the same time, Eka Beselia is still a member of the Prosecutors Council, and the Parliament of Georgia has not reacted to this. The public has legitimate doubts that the Government of Georgia is not willing to find the real truth in the case; people seem to think that the government is more interested in protecting its MP,Ē the Non-Governmental Organisation said.

This case is of significant interest and importance, hence the truth behind Elisashviliís claims must be verified with no concerns hanging over political interests.

Beselia and Georgiaís Parliament should have ensured the transparency of the process and the MP should have severed all ties with the Prosecutorís Office.

The dismissal of accusations by the MPs is not enough to establish the truth. The truth should be uncovered by the Prosecutorís Office, which is investigating the case, and the office must remain independent from every party involved in the case.

For his part, Elisashvili should also reveal all the evidence he has and satisfy the publicís interest to verify the truth of his own claims, if indeed he does possess evidence that MPs were taking bribes to lobby for the release of prisoners.