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Public Defender speaks about interference

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Tuesday, October 22
Public Defender Ucha Nanuashvili claims that the representatives of the interior ministry roughly interfered in the issues of the Public Defender’s office. Nanuashvili stressed that the press service of the MIA spread false information regarding the issue and addressed the Minister of Interior Affairs, Irakli Gharibashvili, to study the issue.

Nanuahsvili stated that on October 17, 2013, the members of the Public Defender’s special prevention group visited the Sagarejo District Police Department with a plan to register the number of detainees and examine the record log of individuals moved to temporary detention cells.

The public defender stated that upon entering the duty station of the police department, the representative of the public defender presented a letter of credence from the public defender to the duty officer and explained the purpose of the monitoring group visit.

“At that moment Deputy Chief of District Police Department, Giorgi Revazishvili entered the duty station and persistently demanded from the representatives of the public defender to immediately leave the building,” the public defender’s office states.

The Ombudsman’s office statement reads that despite the fact that it was explained to Revazishvili the type of authority the Organic Law of Georgia on the Public Defender provides, “he kept acting in a provocative manner and raised his voice,” persistently demanding that the representatives of the public defender's office to leave the building.

The statement also reads that Revazishvili asked for the name of one of the representatives and left the room after he received an answer to talk with someone on the mobile phone.

“After this, he returned into the room even more irritated, together with an individual in civilian clothes, presumably a police officer and this time with the use of physical force made the representatives of the public defender leave the building,” the statement says.

”Revazishvili interfered in professional activities and used physical violence against the members of the Special Prevention Group, thus violating the Organic Law of Georgia on the Public Defender,” Nanuashvili stresses.

The public defender of Georgia also addressed Archil Kbilashvili, the Chief Prosecutor of Georgia, to initiate a preliminary investigation into the case of undermining and interference into the professional activities of the public defender’s special prevention group by Revazishvili, the Deputy Chief of Sagarejo District Police Department as Revazishvili’s actions also contained elements of crime prescribed by the Criminal Code of Georgia.

The public defender’s office provided a video record filmed by one of the members of the prevention group, which reflects that the public defender’s representatives provided all the required information and documentation to the police officers, but they forced them to leave the police office anyway.

Head of MIA press service, Nino Giorgobiani, stated on October 19, that the representatives of the Ombudsman’s office did not present their personal identification documents and did not deliver a verbal explanation of their activity to the police officers. Giorgobiani made an additional statement on October 21.

“The Monitoring group members delievered their personal information only after the police officers demanded the action. After the fact they carried out all the activities they wanted without any obstacle,” Giorgobiani stated, adding that the actions of the group members “were provocative.”

Giorgobiani stated that the MIA has already begun studying the issue and appealed to the public defender’s office to shift attention to the actions of the monitoring group members.