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Chief Prosecutor speaks on liberalization of ‘white collar crimes’

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Monday, July 15
Chief Prosecutor, Archil Kbilashvili, made statements concerning the liberalization of official and economic crimes. In the frame of the issue, Kbilashvili touched upon the Centre Point and DEXUS developer companies and stressed the problem of confidential video footage. The statements were made at the Tbilisi Marriot Hotel, on July 14, during the meeting organized by the U.S. Department of Justice on administering pre-trial detention and bail. The event was attended by various state structure representatives, members of international organizations and NGOs.

Kbilashvili emphasized that standards regarding the so-called white collar crime (official and economic, intellectual crimes) has changed in Europe and “detention as a preventive measure is very rarely used regarding the crimes.”

According to the chief prosecutor, attitudes should also be modified in Georgia and in this regard some other preventive measures should be applied.

“We still live under the negative influence of when arrest is specified for almost all types of crimes, we should try and change the situation,” Kbilashvili stated, adding that the action of Centre Point Group and DEXUS companies are considered white collar crime.

“That is why the Prosecutor’s Office did not demand detention as a preventive measure, we demanded 1 million GEL bail and the demand was partially satisfied (the founders of Centre Point Group will have to pay GEL 250,000 bail each),” Kbialshvili stated.

Kbilashvili stressed that the decision concerning the confidential video materials stored during the previous administration of Georgia will be made after Thomas Hammarberg, the EU’s special representative for Georgia, delivers recommendations concerning the issue.

“Thomas Hammarberg advised that he would discuss the issue with experts in the framework of international standards and provide us with the outcome in a week's period. Only afterwards, will we go back to the issue and try to make a balanced decision,” Kbilashvili suggested.

Kakha Kakhishvili, a special commission member created for the confidential video footage, stated that taking international experience concerning the destruction and preservation of the videos is very important.

“That is why we are waiting for the recommendations and the final decision regarding the fate of the videos," Kakhishvili stated.

Fellow member of the commission and chief-editor of Rezonansi newspaper, Lasha Tughushi, states that law-enforcement have just detected storage of the videos and the total number of the videos is at about 17, 800.

“These videos are made on political grounds and their decryption has just been launched. There are political leaders, political party members, society representatives and activists on the videos,” Tughushi said.

Parliamentary minority thinks that the new government’s attitude regarding the various issues is not adequate. Parliament minority demands naming the individuals and the ministers directly who were carrying out torture or various illegalities, including the making of compromising video-audio materials.