Investigation launched into possible misuse of authority in pardon of convicts

The Prosecutor’s Office is investigating pardon cases which took place on the authorisation of President Salome Zurabishvili. Photo: President's press office., 20 Sep 2019 - 13:44, Tbilisi,Georgia

The Georgian Chief Prosecutor’s Office has launched an investigation looking into possible misuse of authority in the pardon cases of former convicts Ramaz Devadze, Aslan Bezhanidze, Zurab Nadiradze and ‘others.’ 

All of the three individuals, convicted for murder, have been pardoned by President Salome Zuravbishvili, which has sparked public turmoil. 

One of the pardoned inmates, Devadze, was convicted for the murder of a policeman. 

We will inform the public regarding the investigation and its findings,” the Georgian Chief Prosecutor’s Office said. 

President's administration has reported that Zurabishvili "welcomes the launch of the investigation to end speculations regarding the issue." 

President's Parliamentary Secretary Dimitri Gabunia. 

After being elected as president Zurabishvili banned the activity of a 11-person Pardon Commission, which was earlier responsible for discussing the cases of inmates requesting the presidential pardon. 

Instead the president offered changes in the pardon rules and urged for the active involvement of the Ministry of Justice in the issue. 

Zurabishvili refused to name the people who helped her make decisions regarding the recent pardons in the absence of the commission, stating that “it is not my style to shift blame onto others.” 

However, the United National Movement opposition has openly accused the president’s Parliamentary Secretary Dimitri Gabunia of “making illegal deals with the relatives of inmates,” which Zurabishvili dismissed by saying that Gabunia ‘did not touch,” the issue at all.  

Gabunia is one of the most well-known lawyers in Georgia.