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Initiation of Legal Proceedings against Nika Melia are unlawful

03.11.2020

 
Today, Tbilisi City Court hears the issue of applying the measure of restraint against Nika Melia, the majoritarian MP candidate from Gldani constituency.

When making a speech, Nika Melia, one of the leaders of United National Movement and an MP candidate in 2020 Parliamentary Elections, removed the tether from his arm, threw it away and stated that he was no longer going to wear it. 

We would like to remind you that on June 25, 2019, the Prosecutor's Office of Georgia charged Nikanor Melia, member to the Parliament of Georgia, Chairman of the Political Council of United National Movement, with leading and participating in a group violence in front of the Parliament on June 20-21, 2019. By ruling from July 2, 2019, Tbilisi Court of Appeals ordered  the Prosecutor's Office to carry out electronic monitoring over the movement of Nika Melia through attaching a tether on his arm. 

On November 3, 2020, the Office of Prosecutor General of Georgia filed a motion with the court to apply more sever measure of restraint against Nika Melia because he had removed the tether and thus had violated the terms of the measure of restraint used against him.  In particular, the Office of the Prosecutor of Georgia requests to remand Nika Melia on bail of GEL 100,000 as a measure of restraint and further apply restrictions against him on crossing the state border. 

The legal proceedings initiated against Nika Melia on the part of the Office of Prosecutor General of Georgia is legally problematic and unfounded with the following two reasons. Specifically: 

1. The Election Code of Georgia guarantees the inviolability of a candidate for membership to the Parliament of Georgia. According to Article 122(1) of the same Code, a candidate for the membership to the Parliament of Georgia may not be detained, arrested or searched until the Central Election Commission officially publishes the final results of the elections, and in the case of announcing the person as elected by CEC, until the issue of recognition the powers of the person is finally solved unless CEC agrees to the formal request by the Office of Prosecutor General of Georgia to do so.  Exception here would be the case when the person is caught at the scene of the crime, which shall be immediately reported to CEC. If CEC issues a relevant ordinance, the MP candidate arrested or detained shall be immediately released. Therefore, the initiation of the legal proceedings against Nika Melia, a candidate for 2020 Parliamentary Elections shall be deemed unlawful. Moreover, the CEC ordinance granting the request under the above article shall be put to vote within 3 calendar days after receiving the formal request of the Prosecutor General of Georgia, which was not implemented on the part of the  prosecutor's office. Consequently, in this case, the requirement of the law is also ignored. Therefore, it is unlawful to initiate the legal proceedings against the candidate for the parliamentary elections without observing the above facts and requirements.

2. The Office of the Prosecutor General of Georgia motions for remanding Nika Melia on bail of GEL 100,000 instead of the existing bail of GEL 30,000 and further to restrict him from crossing the state border. In the case the person is caught on the scene and there is a consent from CEC, the prosecutor's office shall apply for more sever measure of restraint and may not ask for altering the amount of the bail used, for under Article 200(7) of the Code of Criminal Procedures, where an accused person, against whom a bail was selected as a measure of restraint, violates the terms of the measure of restraint or the law, the measure of restraint shall be replaced with more sever measure under the court ruling following the motion of the prosecutor. Therefore, as an alternative to the measure of restraint, the Office of the Prosecutor General should not have requested the remand on bail of GEL 100,000, instead the prosecution should have requested remanding the person in custody, as provided for in Article 205 of the Criminal Procedure Code. However, the prosecution will not be able to follow the above line due to the requirements of Article 122 of the Election Code of Georgia as discussed above determining the guarantees of inviolability of a candidate for membership to the Parliament of Georgia.

Accordingly, in accordance with the requirements of Article 122 of the Election Code of Georgia and Article 200(7) of the Criminal Procedure Code of Georgia, the legal proceedings initiated against Nika Melia are legally unfounded and unlawful. 


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