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Will the “Georgian law” justify itself?2010-02-03 23:17
Despite recently imposed more stringent measures against leaders of organized criminal groups Georgia continues to export mafia bosses to Russia. A short time ago Guram Chikhladze who, as the law-enforcement bodies claim, was one of the protagonists on the criminal stage of Moscow region, was detained in Moscow. This is the second detention of a criminal authority from Georgia in Moscow over last week. Will this situation bring changes to the main export article from Tbilisi?
Exporting criminals is not a novelty for Georgia. Last spring President Mikheil Saakashvili stated that Tbilisi was supplying Moscow with mafia bosses and other criminal elements - not wine. "Our laws are as stringent as in the USA", - the Georgian leader emphasized then.
However speaking about all criminal community Saakashvili was wrong. As early as in July an organized criminal gang robbing transit trains carrying goods for Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan and Armenia was detained in Batumi. Bandits unsealed carriages and reloaded equipment, construction materials, home electronics onto trucks. At the time of detention the police seized goods worth USD 1 mln.
As for mafia bosses the Georgian law really has an article stipulating 20-25 years' imprisonment for people of this category. But the Criminal code has a different clause stating that the main evidence of the suspect's guilt is personal admission of his "status". Voluntarily thieves can't forsake their "title" since this act is incompatible with the secret code of a criminal leader. Iskandar Galimov, head of Interior Ministry criminal investigation department explained increase in the number of criminal "wanderers" from Georgia by this very circumstance.
By the way in November Russian President Dmitry Medvedev signed a law amending the Criminal and Criminal and Procedural Codes to stiffen punishment for organizers of criminal communities and mafia bosses. In compliance with the document they will be sentenced to 15-20 years' imprisonment or will serve lifetime prison sentence. Alexander Bastrykin, head of Commission of Inquiry with the Prosecutor General's Office favors the new law. "Formerly the inquest often failed to bring to justice organizers and coordinators of criminal activity, - he remarked. - The new law is solving this problem: now the status of a mafia boss is sufficient to start proceedings".