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Speculation on another amnesty

By Messenger Staff
Wednesday, March 13
There are speculations in Georgia about yet another amnesty. This time the amnesty, if it ever takes place, will regard low and middle level civil servants who, during the previous administration, committed various legal violations.

The idea behind this possibility is that many civil servants during the United National Movement's (UNM) reign were forced to commit legal violations/crimes because they depended on the UNM for their welfare, salaries and other benefits and were measured by how loyal they were to the ruling team. Therefore, they were obliged to follow orders to secure their positions and careers. Sometimes they were even threatened and blackmailed by high-ranking UNM officials.

This type of political amnesty, presumably, will further increase the new administrations rating in the West, but will frustrate some within Georgia's population who ask for the restoration of justice.

This topic became the subject of discussions in February of 2013. Initiators of this move were the representatives of the parliamentary minority. The Georgian Dream coalition promised to prepare a draft law on the amnesty of civil servants, which would pardon low and middle level civil servants in all the violations they had committed before the elections of October 1.

The opposition, meanwhile, wanted the amnesty to touch all the civil servants starting from the president up to employees of the local municipalities. The parliamentary majority is working over the document and MP Giga Bukia from the majority stated that the opposition demands amnesty for everybody and it looks like they know that they committed serious violations and want all these to be pardoned.

The ruling party does not want to put everybody in prison. However, it wants those who have committed crimes and violations to publicly acknowledge and apologize. The coalition realizes that more then 20, 000 complaints demanding justice could not be investigated as this will take several years, therefore, a certain type of amnesty is necessary.

Minister of Justice Thea Tsulukiani suggests that instead of adopting a separate law on amnesty, it will be better if the parliament adopts a declaration. So until recently, the question is under discussion and the forthcoming parliamentary decisions will definitely show the results.