President Saakashvili announced during his state of the nation address to the Parliament on February 14 that he will propose an initiative to ban conditional sentences for petty offenses.
Saakashvili slammed judges for, as he put it, showing too much mercy towards criminal suspects.
“Police will round up thieves but the next day a “kind” judge, like [Merab] Turava [one of the judges who has recently accused the authorities of mounting pressure on the judiciary] will release them… Why do they release them and where? They release them back onto the street,” Saakashvili said.
“I am initiating a new draft law: zero tolerance towards even petty crime. I am initiating amendments to the criminal code, which envisage banning conditional sentences for house burglary, street robbery, possession of drugs and other petty offenses. ‘No’ to conditional sentence; everyone who commits these [crimes] should go to jail,” the President enthusiastically stated.
He also said that criminal bosses, so called “thieves in law,” will no longer be tolerated. “I will root them out,” Saakashvili added.