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Ex-head of Pardon Commission ‘threatens’ Prosecutor’s Office

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Friday, December 18
The former Chairman of the Pardon Commission, Aleksandre Elisashvili, confirms that there were no messages sent by high-ranking officials in his mobile phone inbox; however, he insists that the messages are stored in the phone’s hard drive.

Elisashvili made the statement in response to the Prosecutor’s Office Press Service, which stated that there were no messages detected in Elisashvili’s phone validating his claims.

As Elisashvili told reporters, an examination of the phone was to be carried out in order to recover the hard disk.

"It is interesting why the Prosecutor's Office published information about the messages before the publication of any report. I left my cell phone there in order for it to be examined. I am interested in the official report on the examination and not some guy's statement,” he said.

According to him, the messages are not the main thing in the case.

“I will happily complicate things for the Prosecutor’s Office, which is trying to hush up the case,” he said.

Elisashvili has already submitted an official letter to the Prosecutor’s Office and requested the report on his cell phone's professional examination and all the materials related to his presence in the Prosecutor’s Office, to inform Office officials over the pressure before publicly voicing the issue.

Elisashvili, currently an independent member of Tbilisi Sakrebulo, stressed that “there is a message in his phone’s hard disk, in which one of the politicians categorically demands a pardon of a convict without observing any criteria”.

According to him, he had provided the information to the President, as the 9-member Pardon Commission operates under the President's supervision.

Elisashvili stated that questioning the President over the issue would not be a problem, as each citizen of Georgia was equal before law.

The President’s administration has already expressed readiness for cooperation with the investigation.

The Prosecutor’s Office officials deny Elisashvili had informed them about any political pressure from GD politicians.

They confirmed that Elisashvili really held a meeting in the Chief Prosecutor’s Office, but the meeting was related to a different issue.

Georgian media speculates that the case Elisashvili is referring to is the so-called Cocaine Case; people convicted in the case are still in prison.

One of the actors of the case, Anastasia Zautashvili, stresses that she had never sent “any lobbying requests” to Elisashvili to leave the cells.

Moreover, she stressed that Elisashvili and the current head of the Pardon Commission, Zviad Koridze, offered her to submit an appeal to the Pardon Commission to be set free as her case “might have been fabricated under the previous state leadership.”

GD MP Manana Kobakhidze said that she really wrote a message to Elisashvili “to remind him about a certain case”, but had nothing to do with demands to release any prisoners.

Fellow GD MP Eka Beselia, who was also named by Georgian media as one of the politicians exerting pressure on Elisashvili, dismissed such speculations, saying that she even did not meet Elisashvili when the man chaired the Pardon Commission in 2013.

The Chief Prosecutor’s Office says up to 30 witnesses have been questioned after Elisashvili’s statements a week ago.