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Legal Assessment of the Criminal Cases Launched against Giorgi Ugulava

07.05.2020

Analytic document of Human Rights Center

Human Rights Center prepared an analytic document about the criminal cases launched against Giorgi Ugulava, former Tbilisi City Mayor and a leader of the European Georgia. 


The document aims to assess the criminal cases launched against the former Tbilisi Mayor Giorgi Ugulava through the analysis of the international practice and Georgian context. 

Giorgi Ugulava is a prominent opposition political leader, and the Government of Georgia may have some political interests to launch the criminal cases against him. 

The accusations of the political opposition parties, statements of the international partners and the questions of the Georgian society are the reasons why HRC found it important to monitor ongoing criminal cases against the active politician. 

With the last judgment, on February 10, 2020, the Criminal Law Chamber of the Supreme Court of Georgia found the former Tbilisi City Mayor guilty in the embezzlement. Based on the 2012 Amnesty Law of Georgia and already served conviction term for the same case, Giorgi Ugulava was sent to prison for 3 years, 2 months and 8 days. 

The analytic document of Human Rights Center reviews several ongoing criminal cases against Giorgi Ugulava. The document analyzes the court judgments and ongoing developments, other facts and circumstances interrelated with the criminal cases. 

To identify alleged political motives in the cases launched against Giorgi Ugulava, the survey relies on the criteria established by the Council of Europe and the Amnesty International for the status of a political prisoner. The survey presents some views based on those criteria and comprehensive analysis of the cases. 

According to general assessment of Human Rights Center, after the Supreme Court of Georgia violated the six-month term to consider the cassation lawsuit in Giorgi Ugulava’s case, it started the examination of the case in an accelerated manner, which coincided with the politically active period and new charges brought against the defendant by the investigative bodies. In addition to that, other judgments of the court, strict statements of the international partners and influential politicians cast doubts over the political motives in these cases and allegation that the Government of Georgia used the judiciary authority for political revenge. 

Human Rights Center studied the criminal cases launched against Giorgi Ugulava in the frame of the project “Public Events Monitoring.” Currently, HRC monitors trials into 15 criminal cases in the common courts, where alleged political motives are identified. The project was commenced on February 1, 2020 with the financial support of the National Endowment for Democracy and will last until December 31, 2020. 

Human Rights Center 

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