On November 22, the Ministry of Internal Affairs reported that the police officers injured during the March 7-8 rallies has urged Georgia’s President, Salome Zurabishvili, not to pardon Lazere Grigoriadis, a protestor whose arrest is considered controversial and seen as a system retaliation against youth and civic activists participating in the March protests. The appeal was supported by the Ministry’s Legal Department.
According to the MIA, the officers decided to appeal to the President after repeated reports that Lazare Grigoriadis’ family members and human rights defenders had appealed to Salome Zurabishvili for a pardon. “The police officers involved believe that the presidential pardon of the person who attacked them will create the feeling in society that the attack on the defenders of public order go unpunished,” – reads the statement of MIA.
Law enforcement officials state that the possible pardon for Lazare Grigoriadis could be linked to the case of violence against a family member in which he was involved. However, they maintain that this pardon wouldn’t be typical for someone convicted of a similar offense. Instead, it would signal to the public the state’s leniency towards cases involving attacks on the police, violence and domestic crimes.
“This action will call into question the effectiveness of the fight against this category of crimes and the efforts made by state institutions,” – notes MIA.
Officials at Georgia’s Ministry of Interior point to a previous instance in 2019 when the President of Georgia pardoned an individual convicted of the murder of 22-year-old policeman Tarash Mukbaniani. Mukbaniani’s killer received a 12-year sentence but was released from prison after serving just 5 years.
- 27/06/2023 – Lazare Grigoriadis to Remain in Custody