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Ruling Party on Merabishviliís Release: Some Crimes Mustnít be Pardoned

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Wednesday, September 26
The Georgian Dream ruling party members say that Georgian former Interior Minister Vano Merabishvili, who is said to have health problems in prison, must not leave the penitentiary institution preterm, as there are some crimes which must not be pardoned.

"We do not have any expectations on this issue. Pardon is the right of the president. However, I think certain people deserve to be pardoned, but there are crimes that should not be pardoned" said Gia Volski from the Georgian Dream ruling party.

The European Georgia opposition party has called upon President Giorgi Margvelashvili to pardon Merabishvili until his term expires next month.

The Parole Commission of the Ministry of Corrections will once again consider the case of Merabishvili.

The acting head of the legal segment of the Special Penitentiary Department, Tengo Shakarashvili says that that the commission has already considered the case of Merabishvili several times, but refused to recommend for his release.

"As for the specific reasons why Merabishvili was refused to be released, we have no right to provide detailed information about it", - said Shakarashvili.

Merabishvili ís lawyer stated a couple of days ago that the former officialís health condition is particularly complicated and he could have been poisoned in prison, which was strongly denied by the Ministry of Corrections.

The Ministry says that Merabishvili has been checked by doctors several times at the hospitals which were chosen by him and his diagnoses are vasomotor rhinitis, Horner's syndrome and blepharoconjunctivitis.

Vasomotor rhinitis is inflammation of the membranes inside the nose; Horner's syndrome is a combination of symptoms that arises when a group of nerves called the sympathetic trunk is affected, while blepharoconjunctivitis refers to the irritation and inflammation of eyelids and conjunctiva.

Merabishvili was detained in 2013 for alleged misspending of budget funds and was sentenced to five years in prison in 2014.

In September 2016 Merabishvili was further sentenced to 6.5 years in prison for charges related to the beating of opposition lawmaker Valeri Gelashvili in 2005.