Supreme Court Fulfils Public Defender’s Recommendation
The Supreme Court of Georgia made an unprecedented decision and released Giorgi Geladze, who had been convicted of life imprisonment, following the Public Defender's recommendation.
On October 26, 2015, the Public Defender addressed the Secretary of the high Council of Justice and the Chairperson of the Supreme Court of Georgia with a proposal concerning violation of the principle of prohibition of ex post facto law against convict G.G. In the proposal the Public Defender indicated that the Criminal Code of Georgia did not provide for life imprisonment for committing murder under aggravating circumstances at the time when the crime was committed. Accordingly, Giorgi Geladze was sentenced to life imprisonment in violation of the principle of prohibition of ex post facto law.
In particular, by the judgment of the Baku City Court made on 7 July 1998, Georgian citizen G.G. was sentenced to life imprisonment for the offence (premeditated murder under aggravating circumstances) committed on 28-29 January 1997. On 23 December 2010 the Tbilisi City Court made a decision to transfer G.G. from Azerbaijan to Georgia for serving the sentence in his country. In the same decision the Tbilisi City Court brought the Baku City Court judgment into compliance with the articles of the Criminal Code of Georgia and ordered again life imprisonment for G.G.
On March 25, 2016, the Court of Appeal of Tbilisi did not grant Giorgi Geladze’s motion requesting for the review of the judgment due to revelation of new circumstances. After the decision of the Supreme Court was appealed, the Chamber of Criminal Cases of the Supreme Court of Georgia granted the convict’s cassation lawsuit and explained that since the Criminal Code of Georgia did not provide for life imprisonment at the time when Geladze committed the crime, his life imprisonment was to be replaced by temporary imprisonment, which is in full compliance with the Public Defender’s recommendation.
Accordingly, the convict was immediately freed from prison as he had already served his prison term.