TBILISI, DFWatch–Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili on Thursday accused President Giorgi Margvelashvili of being pro-National Movement, after the latter pardoned the brother of a member of that party, which is opposed to the government.
Among 98 prisoners pardoned by Margvelashvili on Thursday is the brother of Akaki Bobokhidze, who has been parliament member five times and twice served as Imereti governor while the National Movement was in power.
This prompted Garibashvili to label Margvelashvili a ‘Natsionaluri’ president, which means that he thinks the president serves the interests of the party headed by former President Mikheil Saakashvili.
“I hope the president pardons Saakashvili, [former Defense Minister] Bacho Akhalaia, [former Interior Minister] Vano Merabishvili and others,” he said sarcastically.
He continued saying that the president Thursday proved that he is promoting the interests of the National Movement by releasing Bobokhidze, who was arrested by the Prosecutor General’s Office and later jailed.
“It is good that we have such a kind president.”
Prison Minister Giorgi Mghebrishvili commented by saying that he agrees with the PM and thinks the president made a hasty decision in the Bobokhidze case.
Levan Bobokhidze worked for the local government in Khoni and was detained on March 28 for embezzlement large amount of state-owned property, abuse of power, organization of forgery in civil service and fraud.
He was sentenced to seven years in jail, but the sentence was reduced to three years and six months in accordance with an amnesty law passed in 2012.
According to Zviad Koridze, who chairs the president’s pardon commission, Margvelashvili on Thursday signed a decree about pardoning prisoners. 74 of them will leave jail, while the remaining 24 will have their sentences halved.
Among those who will leave jail the same day are one woman and two minors.
Ahead of the decision, the pardon commission considered 589 cases on July 17-18.
The commission gave positive recommendations for prisoners convicted of drug-related crimes and less serious crimes, but also approved applications from some who are convicted of serious crimes.
Koridze said the president tried to avoid cases involving violence.