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HRC requests timely investigation into the case of life-sentenced prisoner, whose case files were lost 16 years ago


The criminal case files of the life-sentenced G.M have been lost for more than 16 years. The problem is unique as the convicted person is deprived of the right to appeal the enforced guilty judgment against him as the case files are not available.

HRC defends legal interests of G.M, who serves his life-sentence in the penitentiary establishment # 6. It is alarming that the criminal case files disappeared in February 2002, when the Supreme Court annulled the August 31, 2000 resolution of the Prosecutor General. In its judgment the Supreme Court clarified that due to newly identified circumstances, the complaints lodged to the prosecutor’s office, in case of its validity, may be revised through the investigation in accordance to the criminal procedural code. The case was forwarded to the Prosecutor’s General Office for re-investigation but then it disappeared.

HRC believes, the constitutional rights of G.M were violated. On the one hand, the criminal case files were lost and this suspicious fact was not studied so far. On the other hand, the state could not ensure restoration of the criminal case files of the convicted person with which he could enjoy his constitutional rights and appeal the guilty judgment. Consequently, the right of the convicted person to have access to justice was violated.

As a result of inactivity of concrete institutions, the State failed to defend the rights of the convicted person guaranteed by the Constitution of Georgia, Criminal Code of Georgia and international law. Lack of criminal case files restricts the convicted person’s constitutional right to appeal the guilty judgment with the international mechanisms.

The problem is particularly acute considering the fact that the convicted person claims he is innocent and the 1998 guilty judgment against him was unfair and illegal.

General Inspection of the Chief Prosecutor’s Office commenced the investigation over the lost criminal case files of the convicted G.M on July 14, 2006 – the action is punishable under the Article 342 Part 1 of the CCG, which applies to the professional negligence. The investigation is dragged out and ineffective. During 12 years, the Chief Prosecutor’s Office could not identify those persons, who are associated with the disappearance of the convicted person’s case files.

Human Rights Center calls on the General Inspection of the Chief Prosecutor’s Office of Georgia to continue the commenced investigation effectively and consider granting of victim status to G.M. It is essential that the investigators studied the case in due respect of individual independence and impartiality. The Chief Prosecutor’s Office shall control the investigative bodies and the ineffective investigative activities they have carried out. 

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