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Parliament Speaker Accuses President of Corruption

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Monday, May 7
(TBILISI) - The Georgian Parliament Speaker Irakli Kobakhidze says that pardoning the “unprecedented number of prisoners” by the president could have three reasons: irresponsible attitude, corruption, or deliberate destruction of the law enforcement agencies.

The administration of the President of Georgia Giorgi Margvelashvilis says “it is impossible to take Kobakhidze’s accusations seriously.”

However, the president’s political advisor Pikria Chikhradze says that the Prosecutor’s Office should show its interest in the accusations.

Chikhradze called on Kobakhidze to the Prosecutor's Office to provide the law enforcement agencies with information about the President, regarding the corruption allegations, otherwise he should be held accountable for his “false accusations.”

Since coming to power as the Georgian Dream ruling party presidential candidate in 2013, Margvelashvili has pardoned 3,655, read the official figures released by the president’s administration.

President Margvelashvili pardoned:

71 prisoners in 2013, 787 in 2014, 1006 in 2015, 834 in 2016, 840 in 2017 and 117 in 2018.

1,645 out of those pardoned served their term for heavy crimes, while 1, 812 – for drug-related crimes.

The Georgian Dream party representatives claim that the president pardoned the prisoners with potential to harm more people.

The accusations became severe when a man pardoned by the president killed his step-daughter in front of her two kids about a month ago.

The Interior Ministry officials stated that their efforts were useless to detain dangerous criminals when they were anyway released by the president.

The president’s administration believes that the Georgian Dream members’ and officials’ statements are deliberate to affect Margvelashvili’s image prior to the fall presidential elections.

They say that despite the fact, Margvelashvili has not yet announced whether he is taking part in the race, the Georgian Dream is afraid that the acting president will oppose their candidate.