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Government and Parliament Senior Officials Violate Presumption of Innocence of Archdeacon Giorgi Mamaladze

14.02.2017

Human Rights Center is concerned with the statements of the senior government and parliament officials of Georgia, which were disseminated by media. Their statements violated the presumption of the innocence of the detained person.

The statements made by the Prime Minister, Vice Prime Minister, Minister of Justice, Vice-Speaker of the Parliament, chairperson of the Parliamentary Committee on Legal Issues and others, claiming that grave crime was plotted against the Chatholicos Patriarch of Georgia, violate the presumption of innocence of the detained archdeacon. 

In accordance to the Article 40 of the Constitution of Georgia, “an individual shall be presumed innocent until the commission of an offence by him/her is proved in accordance with the procedure prescribed by law and under a final judgment of conviction.”

Human Rights Center also reminds the Article 6 of the European Convention of Human Rights to the representatives of the Government of Georgia, which states that innocence of presumption is the key principle of the fundamental rights to fair trial: “Everyone charged with a criminal offence shall be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law.”

There is no guilty judgment in the abovementioned case. The society still does not know the position of the detained archdeacon. Neither his lawyer can speak with media because he has signed non-disclosure agreement with the Prosecutor’s Office (though we do not have information whether the case has Top Secret status or not).  The media sources disseminate controversial evaluations of high-ranking clerics of the Georgian Orthodox Church and one part of them not only doubt about the guiltiness of the Archdeacon Giorgi Mamaldze but they even doubt that similar crime was plotted at all.

In the above-described situation, the statements of the senior government officials violate the presumption of innocence, which, at the same time, may influence the preliminary opinion of the society and undermine fair and impartial investigation into the fact.

Lawyer of Human Rights Center is meeting the Archdeacon Giorgi Mamaldze in the Rustavi Prison # 6. After the meeting the organization will provide the society with additional information.

Human Rights Center
 
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