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Unequal Justice for Juvenile Crime in Gori

12.06.2008
Only 19 under aged criminals were tried in Gori district during the last 6 months according to Gori District Court. Teenagers have committed only 14 crimes in Gori City and Gori District. Out of this 14, 4 were committed by a gang and the rest by individual teens.

This information was provided by court officers who are responsible for sharing information with the public. While creating data on juvenile crime the court used the information submitted by law enforcers. The majority of attorneys think that most juvenile crime cases do not end up court as they are settled with plea bargains deals with the legal system and police officers.  Some say that there are instances where illegal or unofficial deals concluded in terms of youth crime.

According to the official information, the majority of tried 19 are under aged lawbreakers, and may are 17 year olds. The youngest of them, convicted for organized robbery was a15 years old and his partner in crime was 16. .

Official information demonstrates that 10 out of 14 crimes committed involved some type of robbery or petty thief.   2 cases were opened in terms of damage to a stranger’s property; 1 dealing with organized extortion and an additional case involving premeditated attempted murder.

“The ones who were charged for damaging stranger’s property were released under a general pardon. The minor lawbreakers charged with robbery were not punished on the same basis. Some were arrested, some were released under plea bargaining and some were fined only. The lawyers say that these are the facts showing how different penalties are used for the same type of crimes.

For instance, N. Ganjelashvili, 18 who committed a robbery with his 20-year-old accomplice and damaged property that belonged to a stranger, and for this action he was sentenced to 3 years and 9 months term of imprisonment and forced to pay a 2500 GEL fine. However, his accomplice T. Nasaridze was sentenced to 3 years and 4 months and fined 2000 GEL for the same crime.

One more thing raised Human Rights Center Shida Kartli Office’s interest: T. Panchvidze, 18 and T. Jananashvili, 18 committed the same or very similar crimes but they were sentenced differently. T. Panchvidze was sentenced to 3 years of prison while T. Jananashvili was sentenced to a suspended sentence of 4 years.

G. Kristesiashvili, 17 charged for the attempt of premeditated murder was sentenced to 6 years in prison and payment of 5 000 GEL fine.

T. Koberidze, 16, I. Gurtsishvili, 17 and G. Mchedlidze, 17 charged for extortion were sentenced to 1 year in prison, 3 years of suspended sentence and 5 000 GEL of fine.

Saba Tsitsikashvili, Gori



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