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Amnesty Related to Illegal Surveillance and Recordings Passed With Second Reading
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 28 Jul.'13 / 13:55

Parliament passed with its second reading on July 27 amnesty bill exempting from criminal liabilities both those who were involved in illegal surveillance and gathering of secret recordings of private lives of citizens and those who will voluntarily hand over such recordings to the authorities within three months after enforcement of this amnesty.

Initially the draft was setting one-month period for handing over such recordings to the authorities, but then it was changed and the period was increased to three months.

The initial draft was not applying amnesty to those who were involved in illegal gathering of secret recordings of private life situations, but then it was amended and the bill, according to its sponsor GD MP Eka Beselia, now reads: “Amnesty applies to those persons, who have committed crime involving illegal obtaining of family or private information, envisaged by article 157 of criminal code, before December 31, 2012.” 

Article 157 of criminal code also refers to crime involving disclosure of such information, but this part of the article is not included in the amnesty bill, according to the text read out at the parliamentary session by MP Beselia, who chairs parliamentary committee for human rights.

The amnesty also applies to crimes envisaged by articles 158 and 159 of criminal code, involving illegal eavesdropping and wiretapping, as well as gathering of private electronic communications and disclosure of such information.

UNM lawmakers were not present at the parliamentary session on July 27 because of final stage of presidential primaries of the party, which was held on the same day in Tbilisi. During discussion of the bill with its first hearing earlier this week, UNM lawmakers spoke out against the proposed amnesty.

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