President's Administration to Reshuffle Pardoning Commission

The Administration of the new Georgian President, Salome Zurabishvili, stated they are reshuffling the composition of the Pardoning Commission.

The President’s Pardoning Commission is composed of ten people. Members are mostly lawyers from the civil sector and public figures, alongside the Public Defender and the Georgian Patriarchate.

The commission discusses all cases sent before it by inmates or their families, and makes the initial decision as to which prisoners seem to deserve a pardon. The list is then sent to the President for approval.

The President is the only person authorized to grant pardons in Georgia.

Before the statement of the President’s Administration regarding the changes to the commission composition was released, Zviad Koridze, Chair of the Pardoning Commission, Eka Gigauri and Basa Janikashvii, members of the Commission from the non-governmental sector, announced they were leaving the commission.

Gigauri, Executive Director of the NGO Transparency International Georgia, took to Facebook to post about her decision.

“I am leaving the Commission after five years of work there. I wish success to the new members of the Commission…I would like to thank Zviad Koridze. I think he was the most distinctive chairperson [of the Commission],” she wrote.

The President’s Administration has already started the selection process of the new members.

“The Administration of the President confirms that some members have left the Commission. The President expresses gratitude to all members of the Commission for their work. The Administration plans to staff the Pardon Commission with new members. This is an ordinary process,” the President’s Administration said.

The Head of the Human Rights Committee of the Parliament, Sophio Kiladze, thinks that the pardoning mechanism was sometimes used “improperly.”

She made the statement while commenting on the decision of some members to leave the commission.

“I think the former President's pardoning mechanism was often used incorrectly. As such, there are many questions in society regarding different cases. I hope Salome Zurabishvili will manage the Pardon Commission in future as it is in western countries," Kiladze said.

By Thea Morrison

Image source: 1TV

07 January 2019 12:14