President suspends pardoning of prisoners convicted of violent crimes, 16 Apr 2018 - 18:06, Tbilisi,Georgia

The Georgian President has announced today that he is temporarily suspending pardons for individuals convicted of violent crimes in the wake of the murder of a 25-year-old woman in front of her two children by her stepfather in central Tbilisi on April 13.

The stepfather, 45-year-old Vepkhvia Bakradze, who was arrested in 2015 for injuring his wife and violating of traffic rules, was pardoned by Margvelashvili back in May 2017.

The president expressed his deep sorrow over the fatal incident and stated that consultations must be held over the pardon and other similar cases. 

The Pardon Commission, acting under my supervision, will continue receiving pardon applications. However, I will not pardon anyone for violent crimes until the consultations are over,” Margvelashvili stated.

The president told the media at a special briefing in the afternoon that the Pardon Commission  received a "very positive description” about Bakradze from the Ministry of Corrections. 

"The Pardon Commission asked me to pardon Bakradze based on the recommendation of the Ministry of Corrections,” Margvelashvili said.

Georgian Dream parliamentary majority members and the Interior Ministry officials have criticized Margvelashvili for pardoning the individual by commuting his term to six months. 

Due to the president’s pardon Bakradze left Tbilisi prison No. 12 in May 2017, instead of in December 2017.

The man who killed his stepdaughter in revenge for his ex-wife refusing to return to him, was detained shortly after the incident on April 14.

His ex-wife stated that the day of murder she and her daughter addressed the police to protect them as Bakradze threatened to kill her or her daughter if she refused to return to him.

Bakradze faces 18-20 years or life in prison.