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Human Rights Center published the Report on Monitoring Activities of the New Department of the Chief Prosecutor’s Office of Georgia

19.11.2018

Lana Giorgidze

On November 16, Human Rights Center presented the report– “Monitoring Activities of the Department of Chief Prosecutor’s Office of Georgia for the Investigation of Offenses Committed in the Course of Legal Proceedings”.
 
The report presents results of the monitoring of the Department of Chief Prosecutor’s Office of Georgia for the Investigation of Offenses Committed in the Course of Legal Proceedings. Within the frameworks of the monitoring, Human Rights Center studied following issues: the specifics of work of the Department; the rules and regulations regarding the appointment of prosecutors and investigators; the number and category of cases processed by the Department; the issues related to the remedies and returning of illegally seized property; the criteria for admissibility of cases and their distribution; and more. 

http://hridc.org/admin/editor/uploads/files/pdf/hrcrep2018/research-eng.pdf“Before 2012, torture, inhuman and degrading treatment in penitentiary establishments and police units, seizing and illegal extortion of property, had been systemic problems for years and was in fact a style of state governance. Citizens filed thousands of complaints to different bodies of the Prosecutor’s Office, Parliament of Georgia and other state bodies with the request to investigate the abovementioned crimes committed before 2012. The citizens requested restoration of their breached rights and justice. Effective investigation into facts related to killings, torture, inhuman and degrading treatment was and still is a systemic problem,” the HRC report – “Monitoring Activities of the Department of Chief Prosecutor’s Office of Georgia for the Investigation of Offenses Committed in the Course of Legal Proceedings” reads, which was prepared with the financial support of the Open Society Foundation. 

The author of the report Giorgi Kakubava said the organization, generally, positively evaluates the work of the new department. “At the same time, the HRC pays attention to concrete problems, like time-framing of the Department’s activities. According to the Report, the Department investigates the crimes committed only before 2012 and it has not investigated any crimes committed in the course of legal proceedings since 2012,” Giorgi Kakubava said. 

Representative of the nongovernmental organization Georgian Democracy Initiative Eduard Marikashvili said there are many problems in the work of the Department, which were reflected in the Report too. “Of course, the society requests restoration of justice and it was legitimate [to establish this department]. Consequently, the new department was created in the prosecutor’s office to satisfy the public request. It is essential to restore the rights of victims and to review old court judgments, but with the new amendments in the Criminal Procedure Code, we have feeling that the prosecutor’s office replaced the court. They have to pass final decisions about cases, which are finally approved by the court without any appellation. It would be good if the prosecutor’s office effectively worked on the identification of the people, who committed those crimes and enable the victims to revise their past guilty judgments based on the new guilty judgments against the harassers,” Eduard Marikashvili said.
 
Representative of the prosecutor’s office Koka Katsitadze said the prosecutor’s office is ready to cooperate with all parties over such a significant issue like restoration of justice. 

“After the government changed in Georgia, the CPO received ten thousands of applications, where people complained about their breached rights and we unified those complaints. 171 victims had their properties returned to them at a cost of around 49 million GEL; CPO revised illegal guilty verdicts against 62 persons and this process continues,” the prosecutor Koka Katsidaze said.

In accordance to the HRC report, in March 2015, a structural unit was added to the Chief Prosecutor’s Office – the Department for the Investigation of Offenses Committed in the Course of Legal Proceedings. Although the law does not specify the years of the crimes, which should be re-investigated by the new department, in accordance to the practice, the department processed only the offences committed before 2012. The analysis of the legislative base regulating the work of the New Department of the CPO, trial monitoring, interviews with the lawyers and victims, analysis of the court judgments and decrees issued by prosecutors revealed both positive and negative aspects in the work of the judiciary authority.  

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