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Who will President have mercy on?2009-09-17 16:46
Georgian police force is the president's pride. Outfit, salaries, poise, a transparent (glass) building of the Interior Ministry, a new prison - all this basically conforms to the Western standards. In order to improve his stained image of a democrat Mikheil Saakashvili has recently announced amnesty. And the other day it was reported that the prisoners had been granted the right of a home leave. However yesterday's incident when a policeman was killed and other two policemen were injured detaining robbers in broad daylight may slow down "humanization" of the police structures.
"The criminal that killed a policeman and injured the other two today was granted last year's amnesty. The amnesty for prisoners must be pursued but with certain corrections", - Mikheil Saakashvili told the journalists last night.
Overemotional as usual Mikheil Nikolayevich emphasized: "The statistics of demeanor of the amnestees is not consoling testifying that most of them refuse to take the right path and their actions spawn threat to citizens».
Journalists and experts are left to guess what exactly the president was driving at. At least a journalist I know was puzzled. And experts and analysts refrain from comments.
In terms of law the country's Constitution states: the president has the right to decide on amnesty of the persons convicted for minor offences on their penitence and in virtue of the appeal of the public commission on amnesty under the president and the appeal of the Patriarchate.
Taking a quick look on Georgia's newest history it turns out the president usually grants mercy either on the New Year's Eve or in the run-up to civil and orthodox holidays. It's worth reminding that the latest amnesty was held a short time ago - on August 28 - on the occasion of Mariamoba orthodox holiday (Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary).
169 prisoners were released then. As Caucasian Knot reported in addition to that the president ordered to shorten the prison term for 69 convicts. 238 persons were subject to amnesty overall. In September other 400 persons will leave penitentiaries in compliance with this mechanism, NEWS.am writes.
The latest amnesty contributed to the aggravation of the domestic situation. The policemen condemned for the murder of Sandro Girgvliani, a bank clerk, were released. In spite of the opposition's resentment over the issue the president's decision remained in force and four policemen were safely granted freedom.
We must particularly note that no amnesty affected political prisoners amounting to 13 persons including Nora Kvitsiani (sister of the president's ex plenipotentiary to Kodory Gorge Emzar Kvitsiani), Joni Jikia. Revaz Kldiashvili, Maya Topuria, Demur Antia, Omar Kutsnashvili and Merab Ratishvili and others. Before the previous amnesty (April 2009) associated with Easter (400 persons were amnestied) the opposition called on the authorities to make a step towards people and release political prisoners. But all in vain.
The same story took place in December 2008. Then in honor of th 5th anniversary of the Rose Revolution Saakashvili declared large-scale amnesty. That is why on December 17 on the occasion of broadly celebrated Barbaroba holiday (Saint Barbara's Day) 1280 persons got liberty. But the political prisoners didn't.