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Gov’t Makes Law against Criminal Bosses Tougher

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Monday, February 5
(TBILISI) - Georgia’s Ministry of Internal Affairs drafted changes that more strictly react to punishment against criminal bosses, as well as business communication with a member of a criminal organization, support of such an organization or participation in criminal gatherings.

The ministry claims that such amendments will lower organized crimes in the country.

The draft of changes has already been approved by the government of Georgia and has been sent to the legislative body for final confirmation.

Currently, a criminal boss is sent to prison for 7-10 years. According to the planned changes the sentence will increase to 9-15 years.

In case of deciding to become a member of a criminal organization, he will face sentence up to 7-10 years.

Interior Minister Giorgi Gakharia stated that those members of the criminal organization who will cooperate with the law enforcement will be freed from the legal accountability.

The opposition parties say the planned changes “are not bad”. However, they believe it is more important how the amendments will be implemented.

The United National Movement opposition claims that many Georgian Dream ruling party leading figures “are in a good relationship” with some criminal bosses.

The Interior Ministry draft came after the release of the 2017 crime statistics, which saw 5.4 percent increase in offenses compared to 2016.

Minister Gakharia stated that a range of reforms have been planned in the body to provide low level of criminal cases.

Criminal mentality was particularly strong in Georgia before 2003, until the United National Movement government came to power.

The government declared “zero tolerance” to the mentality and even if an individual showed a positive attitude to the criminal world he/she could be sent to prison.

The opposition claimed that under the Georgian Dream authorities criminal mentality was still empowering.