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The Appellate Court ordered the Gori Municipality City Hall to pay 14 000 GEL as a compensation

18.02.2019

 
Lado Bitchashvili, Shida Kartli

On February 13, Judge Natia Gujabidze at the Tbilisi Appellate Court announced the ruling into the case of Aleksandre Valiauri, former director of the Culture Center, public law legal entity of the Gori Municipality City Hall. He appealed the illegal dismissal from the position of the culture center director in 2015. 

In accordance to the judge’s ruling, Gori Municipality City Hall was ordered to compensate 12 month salary for Valiauri, which amounts to 14 000 GEL. The judge did not satisfy the claim of Valiauri to be restored to the position of the culture center’s director; the judge clarified that as a result of the reorganization, the municipal public law legal entity was expanded and current position of the director of the Culture Center is not equal to the same position in 2015.

Judge Gujabidze made clarifications about the complaint of the Gori Municipality City Hall against Aleksandre Valiauri lodged to the prosecutor’s office and stated that the complaint lacks all legal arguments and the provided case files do not prove any offences committed by Valiauri. 

The decision of the judge was unexpected for both parties. Although the court did not fully share the position of Aleksandre Valiauri and his human rights lawyer from the Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association, Valiauri said the decision will be precedential for the Georgian judiciary. 

“It is one of the precedential decisions, in the frame of which the judge respected human rights to prevent future facts of human rights violations in state institutions. The clarification of the judge with regard to the complaint of the Gori Municipality City Hall against me in the prosecutor’s office was also important, as it contained no evidence against me just tried to degrade my professional reputation though they failed to succeed in it as well,” Aleksandre Valiauri told humanrights.ge.

The lawyer of the Gori Municipality City Hall Giorgi Batonisashvili said the City Hall will decide to appeal the Supreme Court or not after having received the resolution part of the court judgment. 

Former mayor of Gori municipality Zurab Jirkvelishvili fired Aleksandre Valiauri on October 19, 2015 when the Culture Center was holding festival of public theaters of Georgia in Gori. Aleksandre Valiauri claimed the former regional governor Zurab Rusishvili was guilty in his dismissal and stated that Zurab Jirkvelishvili signed his resignation order under oppression of the regional governor. 

In response to this accusation, the city hall published the internal audit report and spoke about the violations committed by Aleksandre Valiauri. According to the internal audit report, the municipality city hall appealed the prosecutor’s office and the latter forwarded the case to the Financial Police. Investigation unit of the Financial Police several times questioned Valiauri but the investigation results are still unknown; nobody knows whether the investigation is still going on or not. 

In response to the municipality city hall, Aleksandre Valiauri appealed the Gori district court against Gori municipality mayor and requested to annul the illegal resignation order of the mayor and restoration to the working position. Gori district court held 16 hearings over Valiauri’s case. Judge Davit Papuashvili started, Judge Shorena Tsikaridze continued and Judge Maya Kutkhashvili finalized the case discussion in the Gori District Court. According to the final judgment of the local court, the Gori City Hall was ordered to compensate only two-month salary for Valiauri.

Dissatisfied with the decision of the Gori District Court, Valiauri appealed the Tbilisi Appellate Court. In its counter-appeal, the Gori municipality city hall requested to annul the decision of the Gori District Court with regard to two-month compensation for Valiauri. Judge Natia Gujabidze at the Appellate Court did not satisfy the claim of the municipality city hall and upheld the decision of the Gori district court – the Gori municipality city hall was ordered to compensate 12 month salary for Valiauri in the amount of 14 000 GEL. 

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