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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

82 Pardoned in Georgia

MOSCOW () -- Georgian leader Eduard Shevardnadze pardoned 82 convicted criminals Thursday on the eve of celebrations marking the former Soviet republic's independence-day holiday.

Government spokesman Valerian Gogogashvili said the prisoners all were serving sentences of less than five years. They were to be released Thursday.

Georgia observes May 26 as its independence day.