Justice Minister Thea Tsulukiani summarized the activities of her office over the past three month. On February 13, Tsulukiani focused on the reforms and steps for which the minstry is going to perform in the future.
Tbilisi Mayor remains non-compliant in investigation
By Keti Arjevanidze
Thursday, February 14
Tsulukiani explained that the aim of justice system reform is to establish an independent court in Georgia. She initiated the engagement of a jury in the discussion of the cases of former officials to ensure high public participation in the judiciary system.
One of the main issues discussed on Wednesday referred to interrogation of United National Movement (UNM) officials over the recent developments on February 8 in front of the National Libary. Tsulukiani said that the UNM has hindered the investigation of the incident because the UNM repesenatives who were affected in the violent incident refuse to provide testimony as key witnesses.
“The city mayor refuses to be questioned and regards himself as a victim. The investigation faces a problem due to his refusal to describe the events,” Tsulukiani said, adding that instead of cooperating with the investigation, the UNM prefers “shouting and grumbling.”
Tsulukaini said that there was a precendent set when investigators visited Ugulava at his office, but it will not happen again. Meanwhile, Ugulava announced that he is trying to avoid the intergoation, but continues claiming that the police did not ensure the protection of public order and the constitutional rights of the citizens.
However, Tsulukiani announced that the Prosecutor’s Office is being forced to question other minority deputies in the parliament.
The justice minister also commented on the interrogation of the former-PM and acting secretary general of the UNM Vano Merabishvili, as well as the former-healthcare minister and acting Governor of Kakheti– Zurab Tchiaberashvili. Merabishvili and Chiaberashvili were summoned for questioning over the ongoing investigation into the alleged misspending of GEL 5.24 million in public funds on UNM activists during last year’s election campaign.
Tsulukiani said their questioning is is not a politically motivated. The prosecutor’s office recently reported that the previous government hired an additional 21,837 employment agents, who have not received any instruction about their work, no trainings courses have been carried out and no questionnaires have been filled in as part of the program handed out by the Social Service Agency.” The prosecutor’s office said this money was allocated from the state budget to cover registrants’ salaries.
In commenting on the issue, Zurab Chiaberashvili appealed to the new government to think about the eradication of the unemployment rate instead of abolishing the ministry of employment and suspending the projects.
Meanwhile Merabishvili said before the interrogation that he will answer all the questions. Merabishvili was also questioned over the same case.