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Statement of the Human Rights Center About the Release of Murderers of Sandro Girgvliani

The Human Rights Center is deeply concerned regarding the changed sentence of the murderers of Sandro Girgvliani; they were pardoned and will serve suspended sentence. We think pardoning of the murderers will cause the decrease of sense of responsibility among law enforcement bodies and increase of syndrome of impunity.

The Government of Georgia once more demonstrated that they were personally interested in the hushing up of the crime and protecting murderers. It is fact that the crime was not completely investigated and the investigation team did not reply to the most questions of the society which are still urgent. People are mostly concerned about the connection of the MIA and high ranking officials of the MIA with the murder.

The fact that MIA was investigating the case where its high ranking officials were suspected proves that the government was interested in the hushing up of the crime.

We think the government once more opposed the society and we condemn their irresponsibility.

Ucha Nanuashvili, Executive Director of the Human Rights Center:

“Release of Girgvliani’s murderers can be assessed unilaterally – our society is laughed at. It is one of the most shameful facts of the recent years in the Georgian history. This fact demonstrates that there is optional justice in Georgia and law enforcer officials and governmental officials are protected from the punishment for any crime they commit. After this decision it is clear that whatever law enforcement officers and governmental official do, they will never be punished. Thus, the authority supports and reinforces syndrome of impunity.”

Four people were convicted for the murder of Sandro Girgvliani – Gia Alania, Mikheil Bibiluri, Aleksandre Gachava and Avtandil Aptsiauri. They were the officers of the Constitutional Security Department. In order to impose most minimal sentence on the suspects t he parliament of Georgia introduced changes to the law. The request of the parliamentary minority to set up the parliamentary commission to study the murder of Girgvliani was declined by the majority.

In July of 2006 the court imposed inadequately minor sentence on the murderers of Girgvliani. Gia Alania was sent to prison for 8 years, and other three for 7 years.

On November 23, 2008 their sentence was half diminished. One more interesting point is that the pardon commission included the murderers of Sandro Girgvliani in the list of candidates without discussing their names with the commission members from opposition parties. Two days ago, the president pardoned the convicted and released them under suspended sentence. They will serve the term in the monastery.

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