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Georgian parliament speaker signs law on amnesty for 3,000 prisoners

January 12, 2013, 23:35 UTC+3
Аbout 3,000 prisoners convicted for minor and unpremeditated crimes, economic and other such offences will be released in the next two months
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Photo EPA/ITAR-TASS

Photo EPA/ITAR-TASS

TBILISI, January 12 (Itar-Tass) – Georgian Parliament Speaker David Usupashvili signed the Law “On Amnesty” in the presence of journalists on Saturday, January 12.

“January 11 was the last day when Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili could sign the Law ‘On Amnesty adopted by the parliament. Since the president did not sign this document, I exercised my constitutional right and signed the law,” Usupashvili said.

He said “this important law will enter into force today after publication”.

According to the law, passed by the parliament on December 21, 2012, about 3,000 prisoners convicted for minor and unpremeditated crimes, economic and other such offences will be released in the next two months, including about 200 people who have been recognised by the parliament as political prisoners. They will be released on January 13.

On December 27, Saakashvili vetoed the part of the law that concerned amnesty for “political prisoners” and said it was “wrong” to include in this list persons who had been convicted for espionage in favour of Russia as well as several military officers convicted in 2009 for an attempted coup.

In response, the ruling Georgian Dream coalition said Saakashvili’s assertions were “populist”.

On December 28, the parliament overruled the presidential veto.

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