TBILISI, DFWatch–According to a new study by Institute for Development of Freedom of Information (IDFI), the changes in the judiciary system after the October 1, 2012, parliamentary election have been positive.

IDFI writes that 140 million lari (USD 85 million) was transferred to the government budget on the basis of plea bargain in the years 2009-2012. In 2009 the amount transferred was 8 million lari (USD 5 million), the following year 42 million lari (USD 25 million), in 2011, 51 million lari (USD 31 million) and in 2012, 38 million lari (USD 23 million).

Levan Avalishvili, director of IDFI, said that this indicates the ways the previous government used to fill the budget.

The number of defendants given conditional conviction, was almost equal to the number of defendants who were sentenced to jail till 2013. In the first 6 months of 2013, the number of conditional convictions has been significantly higher than the number of sentences with deprivation of freedom.

According to IDFI, the amount of acquittals was too low in 2007-2010 at 0.1-0.2 per cent. However, in 2012 it increased to 7.8 per cent.

IDFI argues that this underlines the questions independence of the courts from political pressure before elections.

“There is a progress in the judiciary system. The cases are studied better, judges are freer during passing the verdict,” Kakha Kozhoridze, head of Georgian Young Lawyers Association, said.

Avalishvili said that after elections the number of verdicts in favor of individuals and legal entities, and against the state, has almost doubled, reaching 69 per cent. IDFI regards this as one of the most significant positive changes in the judiciary system after the parliamentary election in October, 2012, and believes that it will increase Georgians’ trust in the courts.