Businessmen gathered at the Radisson Hotel in Tbilisi to meet incoming General Prosecutor Archil Kbilashvili on October 18th. The purpose of the meeting was to make businessmen more aware of the changes which Kbilashvili is going to introduce in the Prosecutor's Office.
Archil Kbilashvili meets with businessmen
By Keti Arjevanidze
Friday, October 19
“We are going to collaborate with businessmen; business will be free from the pressure from the Prosecutor's Office. Businessmen and business will not be intimidated. We won't touch businessmen but will absolutely defend their rights." Kbilashvili told The Messenger.
Fady Asly, Chairman of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) in Georgia expressed his admiration for Bidzina Ivanishvili’s decision to appoint Archil Kbilashvili as General Prosecutor. “This is a clear message sent to everyone, that there is a political will, a very strong determination to change things for the better and implement the law.” Asly stated.
Kbilashvili commented on the bringing the Prosecutor's Office out of the control of the executive branch. "We think the prosecution office should be out of the control of the executive branch. That means that we will be independent, legally independent from the influence of the executive branch." Kbilashvili stated.
Kbilashvili also discussed staff changes in the Prosecutor's Office. He said that heads of departments, units and central agencies, as well as district prosecutors will be replaced, but regular employees will not be dismissed.
He confirmed that the Chief Prosecutor’s Office will be renamed the General Prosecutor's Office. Kbilashvili also elaborated about changes which he called “a revolutionary new system” for claims from " victims of illegal verdicts”. It will review controversial court decisions made during the previous administration.
While discussing the court system and the issue of corruption Kbilashvili described two forms of corruption: horizontal and vertical. Both existed in Georgia 10 years ago, but now only vertical corruption exists, Kbilashvili claimed. The new government hopes to eradicate vertical corruption by separating the Ministry of Justice and the Prosecutor's Office.
“The Prosecutor's Office should not be a long hand of the executive branch... that is why our first goal is to terminate the subordination of the Prosecutor's Office to the Ministry of Justice." Kbilashvili said.
The incoming General Prosecutor promised businessmen that a fair business environment will exist in Georgia but added that in return businesses should comply with the law, said Kbilashvili.
Many businessmen have expressed their wish to cooperate with the new government.