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President Easies Rules of Pardon for Non-Violent Crimes

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Friday, February 2
(TBILISI)--President of Georgia Giorgi Margvelashvili has made a decision to ease the rules of pardon for the people convicted for non-violent crimes, Zviad Koridze, chairperson of the Pardon Commission announced yesterday.

Koridze stated that the Pardon Commission will not use sentence criteria while discussing the request of those convicts who have committed drug crimes, not including selling of drugs and psychotropic drugs; purchase, storage, import and transit of narcotic substantial in especially large quantities.

Koridze also stated that the Commission will discuss the request for pardon of those people who committed nonviolent property, economic, financial and civil offenses.

Georgian Dream majority member Zakaria Kutsnashvili says that the president violates the rules and regulations set by him and allows exceptions in the procedures which had been initiated by him.

“The president acts controversially,” Kutsnashvili says and claims the liberal attitude to certain crimes could be related to Margvelashvili’s intentions to become the president for the second time.

The president is the only person authorised to pardon inmates in Georgia.

He decides which inmates can be pardoned after a lengthy discussion by the President’s Pardon Commission.

The President’s Pardon Commission is composed of ten people including Koridze. The Commission members are mainly lawyers from the civil sector, public figures, the Public Defender and a spiritual representative from Georgia’s Patriarchate.

The group must discuss all cases sent to the Pardon Commission by inmates or their families and decide which prisoners they believe deserved to be pardoned. The list then is sent to the President.

The President makes the final decision about pardoning the inmates.