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On 19 September 2014, the host of the talk show, Reaction,

asked President Giorgi Margvelashvili a question regarding his decision to pardon his brother-in-law. The President’s response was: “I think I was as merciful in this case as I was in other cases. Later on, I have pardoned convicts who were prosecuted on similar charges as well.”

FactCheck

took interest in whether or not the President’s statement was indeed true.

The Constitution of Georgia provides the President with the power to grant a pardon. The rule for pardoning is defined by the Presidential Decree on Adopting the Rule of Pardoning. According to the rule, the Parole Commission presents its recommendations to the President and puts in a plea for him to review the request for pardoning a convict together with a plea for the revocation of the conviction of the crime. The President considers the recommendations presented by the Parole Commission and makes the final decision himself.

Giorgi Margvelashvili has used his constitutional power to pardon on multiple occasions. On 3 March 2014, the presa.ge news agency reported that Giorgi Margvelashvili had pardoned his brother-in-law. Reaction’s

host, Inga Grigolia, asked her question based upon that information. The President did not deny that he in fact had pardoned his brother-in-law. However, Mr Margvelashvili did not give specifics on precisely what charges his brother-in-law was convicted of.

Personal information about convicts is confidential and so FactCheck

was unable to obtain any sort of official information on the criminal charges for which Giorgi Margvelashvili’s brother-in-law was found guilty. According to presa.ge, he was convicted for attempted intentional homicide. The Criminal Code of Georgia does not include a separate article for homicide attempt. Article 109 (attempted crime) and Article 108 (intentional homicide) are used together to give qualification to the attempted homicide. Hence, statistically speaking, the total number of individuals convicted of Article 108 certainly includes those persons who are convicted of attempted homicide.

Based upon that information, we addressed the Administration of the President of Georgia and requested detailed statistics on the total number of those individuals who were convicted of intentional homicide and of intentional homicide in aggravated circumstances from 2004 until November 2014.

According to the statistics, there have been multiple cases when individuals convicted of Articles 108 and 109 of the Criminal Code of Georgia were granted a presidential pardon. The total number includes those convicted of actual homicide together with those convicted of attempted homicide.

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The largest number of inmates convicted of intentional homicide were pardoned by former President Mikheil Saakashvili in 2008. Since his inauguration (17 November 2013) until 17 November 2014, President Giorgi Margvelashvili has pardoned seven individuals convicted of the same charges.

Conclusion

Giorgi Margvelashvili has used his constitutional power to pardon on multiple occasions. According to the presa.ge news agency, the President pardoned his brother-in-law who was convicted of attempted intentional homicide. According to the information obtained from the President’s Administration, in the period of 2004-2014 there were multiple cases of granting presidential pardon to individuals convicted for that crime.

Therefore, Giorgi Margvelashvili’s statement: “I think I was as merciful in this case as I was in other cases. Later on, I have pardoned convicts who were prosecuted on similar charges as well,” is TRUE.

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