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Article 333 will not be amnestied

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Wednesday, December 5
Large-scale amnesty will concern about 3,500 inmates that committed less severe crimes. Those inmates that are repeat offenders will not be released. However, Article 333, which pertains to exceeding official powers, will not be amnestied. Statements on amnesty issues were made by both majority and minority representatives.

“A large part of the recommendations we have received from various state structures and the NGOs have been taken into consideration. Amnesty will mainly concern minor crimes. However, we go into details and consider each inmate’s case individually,” the Minister of the Penitentiary and Corrections, Sozar Subari stated, adding that those inmates that have committed repeated robbery will not leave their prison cells.

“Only those inmates that committed single acts of robbery will be released,” Subari emphasized.

Those inmates who committed crime under the article 333 will not be on amnesty list. It can be said that the article is very popular currently. Almost all recently detained former officials are being judged through the article.

Minority representatives could see the political motivation concerning the article.

“If the amnesty concerns less heavy crimes and also aims to half sentences for those inmates who committed heavy crimes, why it should not concern article 333.; it is obvious that the majority is acting based on its political motivation,”

In response, the deputy of the Parliament Human Rights and Civil Integration Committee, Gedeon Popkhadze stated that while discussing the article, the publics' interests were taken into consideration.

“Georgian society is looking forward to the restoration of justice. Georgians are demanding the punishment to all those officials that had committed various crimes. If the article were amnestied it would cause great public irritation,” Popkhadze said.

The minority also claims that the large-scale amnesty might create threats for public safety. Such statements are denied by the new government. The current authorities highlight that lots of people had been illegally arrested and tortured by the previous administration.

The minority’s attitude is not shared by the possible future ombudsman of Georgia, Ucha Nanuashvili (he has been named as the majority’s candidate on the post and has been described as a very experienced person in the human’s rights field).

According to him, the criminal situation will not change after the amnesty, as only those inmates that are not dangerous to society will be released.

“There are people in prisons which were detained for stealing 15 laris, nuts or something like this. They should have a chance to start a new life,” Nanuashvili stated.

The draft on amnesty will be discussed more on December 5.