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Adjara Prosecutor Annulled Meeting Day

26.12.2013

 
Maka Malakmadze, Adjara

New prosecutor of Adjara Autonomous Republic Shota Tkeshelashvili annulled the meeting day with citizens. Lawyers and journalists complain about closed prosecutor’s office. Nobody clarified why the days for meeting with prosecutor was annulled and why prosecutors do not answer questions of media.

Adjara Prosecutor’s Office is located in the Justice House. There is a table with Meeting on it over one door on the 16th floor. However, new prosecutor will no longer use it to meet citizens and lawyers. Tkeshelashvili became prosecutor of Adjara Autonomous Republic on November 25. The meeting day Friday was annulled after he occupied the position. 

Article 4, Paragraph 2 of the Decree # 51 of August 26, 2013 issued by the Minister of Justice of Georgia, which regulates activities of the Adjara Prosecutor’s Office, reads: “Adjara prosecutor discusses letters, applications and complaints of physical and legal persons and meets citizens.”

Does the prosecutor breach the Minister’s decree with his decision? Lawyers negatively evaluated Tkeshelashvili’s decision.

Giorgi Khimshiashvili, lawyer of GYLA’s Batumi office. “Annulment meeting days is inadmissible fact because prosecutor has legislative obligation to allocate hours for meeting with citizens; it is regulated by Article 48 of the Law of Georgia on Prosecutor’s Office and Decree # 51 of August 26, 2013 by the Minister of Justice.”

Givi Mamuladze, nongovernmental organization for Defense of Prisoners’ Rights and Their Social Welfare. “Annulment of meeting day increases gap between the prosecutor’s office and society that gives ground to the public mistrust towards prosecutor’s office. The latter is part of our society, which should guarantee justice; their activities shall destroy the years-long mistrust of the society towards this institution and restore its reputation. With similar decisions, it will be difficult for the Adjara Prosecutor’s Office to restore reputation.”

After the new government came in office, journalists have not been able to interview prosecutors. Interpresnews’ correspondent from Adjara Nino Khozrevanidze thinks the prosecutor’s office is still closed institution. “Not only meeting with the Chief Prosecutor is problem but ordinary prosecutors also refuse to make comments with journalists. They either send us to press-center or categorically refuse to make any comments. One of the most recent examples was short remark of prosecutor after the trial on Mariam Kochalidze’s murder case – “apply to press-center.” However, when Archil Kbilashvili was chief prosecutor of Georgia, the Prosecutor’s Office was completely transparent and open for media. Currently the situation has changed. Impartiality, balance and journalistic ethic are main values for me. If prosecutor’s office gets closed, it will be difficult to keep balance in publications.” 
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