President Suspends Pardoning of Inmates Convicted for Violent Crimes

The President of Georgia, Giorgi Margvelashvili has decided to suspend pardoning of inmates who have been convicted for violent crimes.

The President’s decision came after the murder of a 25-year old woman who was killed on Friday by her stepfather. It is said he was seeking revenge for the victim’s mother, his ex-wife.

According to the media, Vepkhia Bakradze, 45, killed his stepdaughter Tamar Gamrekelashvili right after police issued a restraining order against him. He stabbed the young woman several times in her throat in front of the victim’s two underage children and then escaped.

The police detained the man the following day and he faces imprisonment from 16 to 18 years for murder and domestic violence.

The man was convicted in 2015 for domestic violence and was released in May 2017 after the President pardoned him.

While commenting on the issue, Margvelashvili stated at first he refused to pardon Vepkhia Bakradze but his second request was attached by his family's will that he be released.

“This case is even harder for us since we know that this crime was committed by a person pardoned by us…This clearly refers to the need to tighten the process during which we make decisions. We are suspending issuance of pardon acts in relation to violence crimes until the end of consultations with all actors of the pardoning process,” said the President.

Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs, Natia Mezvrishvili, stated the President's pardon act was not justified in the case of Vepkhia Bakradze.

"This man had been accused of domestic violence in the past. He then inflicted serious injury to his wife. I do not think that the President's pardon act was justified in this case,” she stressed, adding the Internal Ministry can do nothing to eliminate similar cases unless all the relevant agencies have a strict position.

By Thea Morison

16 April 2018 16:42