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Prosecutor’s office imposed irrelevant charge on Partskhaladze and Chokheli over Lasha Tordia’s physical assault case

27.12.2018

The Chief Prosecutor’s Office of Georgia did not satisfy the claim of the Human Rights Center to change the qualification of the charge brought against the former chief prosecutor Otar Partskhaladze and senior official of the ministry of finances Mikheil Chokheli from Article 126 (beating) into the Article 3531 (assault on a state official because of his/her professional activities) of the Criminal Code of Georgia over the case of physical assault on Lasha Tordia. 

The assault and physical controversy with the former chief auditor of Georgia has been hot topic for the past years. On May 13, 2017, the former chief prosecutor Otar Partskhaladze and the deputy head of the investigative department of the investigation unit at the Ministry of Finances Mikheil Chokheli attacked Lasha tordia, the former chief auditor of Georgia in public place. The investigation started into beating and investigation procedures lasted till August 2017. 

On November 5, 2018, during the presidential election campaign, the chief prosecutor’s office got active and brought charges against Partskhaladze and Chokheli under Article 126 Part I of the CCG in one day. Lasha Tordia was found guilty and the prosecutor’s office sent motion to the court to impose preventive measure on the accused persons – all was done in one day including the court hearing. It is unclear for the Human Rights Center, why the prosecutor’s office was so active and HRC is particularly curious about the fact that the organization, which defends the rights of Laha Tordia, learned about all procedures carried out on November 5 only from media. 

According to the evaluation of the Human Rights Center, the charges brought against Partskhaladze and Chokheli are not relevant to the case evidence. HRC petitioned the prosecutor’s office and requested to change the qualification of the criminal case from the Article 126 Part I into the Article 3531 that refers to the assault on a state official because of his/her professional activities.

Another significant problem is that the chief prosecutor’s office of Georgia, irrelevant to the evidence in the case files, does not qualify the case as the crime committed by a group of people though both Partskhaladze and Chokheli are charged for one and the same crime and action. Consequently, it is evident that two individuals committed common crime that is group offence and relevant qualifications shall be granted to the charge. 

HRC calls on the Chief Prosecutor’s Office of Georgia to consider and discuss the petition of Human Rights Center with regard to the qualifications of the imposed charges and change it into the Article 3531 of the CCG. At the same time, it is important to identify that the crime was committed by a group. Similar approach from the side of the prosecutor’s office will increase the level of their qualification, impartiality and independence. 

Human Rights Center 

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