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Human Rights Center Calls on the Prosecutor’s Office to Stop Oppression on the Advocates of the So-Called Cyanide Case

21.10.2017

 
Prosecutor’s Office invited the Human Rights Center’s lawyer Eka Lomidze to the interrogation in front of the magistrate judge today, at 13:00 pm. She will be questioned with regard to the so-called cyanide case. 

Human Rights Center is alarmed with summoning the lawyers, including the nongovernmental organization’s lawyer, of the so-called cyanide case to the prosecutor’s office and then to the magistrate judge for interrogation.

Human Rights Center shares the position of the Georgian Bar Association, which states that the lawyer cannot be questioned as a witness into a case where she/he acted as an advocate that is regulated by the Article 38.3 of the Law of Georgia on Advocates and Article 50 of the Georgian Criminal Procedure Code of Georgia.

In accordance to the Article 38.6 of the Law of Georgia on Advocates and Article 4 of the Ethic Code of the Advocates, any information received by an advocate from a client or other person seeking legal advice shall be confidential.  At the same time, it is important to respect the basic principles of the UN about the role of advocates. Namely, in accordance to the Article 16 of the UN Basic Principles, governments shall ensure that lawyers are able to perform all of their professional functions without intimidation, hindrance, harassment or improper interference.

With regard to the already commenced investigation, it is noteworthy that from the very first day Human Rights Center requested the Chief Prosecutor’s Office to free the Deacon Giorgi Mamaladze and his lawyer from the obligations under the non-disclosure agreement and allow them to effectively use defense mechanism, as it placed the defense side in unequal conditions. 

Procedures carried out by the prosecutor’s office in connection with the advocates, while the advocates were prohibited to disclose the information about the case, but the prosecutor’s office itself several times published the case materials in mass media, may be evaluated as the interference in the professional activities of the defense lawyers. In similar situation, the prosecutor’s office is obliged to protect the information from disclosure. Agreement on non-disclosure shall not place the parties in unequal conditions and create doubts about the partiality of the criminal litigation.

We believe that the prosecutor’s office abuses its procedural authority and oppresses the advocates of the Deacon Giorgi Mamaladze that is violation of the equality of arms and best interests of justice. 

Human Rights Center calls on the government and prosecutor’s office to respect the obligations undertaken under the national legislation and international regulations and ensure that lawyers are able to perform all of their professional functions without intimidation. 

Human Rights Center 

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