TBILISI, January 14 - RAPSI. Russian citizen Yuri Skrylnikov, who was convicted of cooperating with a foreign intelligence service and conducting anti-government activity in July 2011, was declared a political prisoner and released from prison on Sunday.

Skrylnikov was one of 190 political prisoners who were released on Sunday morning after a law on amnesty came into effect.

Those released include Georgy Dematradze, a famous football player who used to play for the Georgian national team; he was convicted of having links with the criminal world.

On January 12, chairman of the Georgian parliament David Usupashvili signed a law on the largest amnesty in the history of the country, which parliament had approved at the end of 2012. Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili vetoed the law on December 27, however parliament overturned his decision. Then it was resubmitted to the president for signing into law. When Saakashvili again refused, the right to sign the amnesty law was passed down to the head of the parliament.

Soon over three thousand people will be released from prisons under amnesty and the imprisonment terms of many individuals will be reduced. Those declared to be political prisoners by the Georgian parliament's resolution were the first to be freed. In the next two weeks, the ministry for the execution of punishments will submit the rest of the prisoners' cases to court so as to establish which articles of laws each prisoner is subject to.