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Georgian Prosecutor Defends Decision To Release Whistle-Blower

Former prison officer Vladimer Bedukadze returned to Georgia in January.
Georgia's prosecutor-general says he stands behind his decision last month to release a former prison official who published videos showing guards torturing inmates.

Archil Kbilashvili told journalists on July 9 that Vladimer Bedukadze "helped thousands of inmates avoid torture and therefore deserved clemency."

Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili urged Kbilashvili on July 8 to revise his decision to release Bedukadze.

Bedukadze was arrested in January after flying to Tbilisi from Europe.

Georgian authorities put him on Interpol's wanted list in September after he released videos showing prison guards torturing inmates while he was present.

The videos were made public ahead of the country's October parliamentary elections and caused mass protests across the country.

In June, several former prison guards seen on the tapes were sentenced to prison terms between six and 18 months.

Based on reporting by and Interfax