Public Defender Ucha Nanuashvili calls on the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia and the Prosecutor’s Office of Georgia to protect the presumption of innocence.
Public Defender demands re-investigation of cases
By Tea Mariamidze
Friday, July 18
“Information about the investigation must be publicly released in accordance with the presumption of innocence. Unfortunately, there were some problems in this regard”, Ucha Nanuashvili said, adding that all such issues are reflected in his recent report.
Nanuashvili stresses that he again touched upon well-known cases in his recent report. He stated that the Lopota case is being investigated by the Interior Ministry; however, he claims that the investigation is underway with wrong qualifications.
“One of the recommendations is about the investigation of the case of the special operation carried out in the Lopota Gorge in 2012. The Prosecutor’s Office should investigate this case in accordance with the independent, impartial, prompt and effective principles of the investigation,” Nanuashvili said on Thursday. In his earlier reports Nanuashvili expressed his suspiciouns that the special operation carried out under the previous government that claimed several lives might have been staged by former officials, having no connection with terrorism.
The public defender also spoke about recent issues under the new administration. He stated that the cases of Georgia’s former Prime Minister Vano Merabishvili (Merabishvili said in December that he was brought out of his cell) and the illegal detention of employees of the City Hall and the City Council should be re-investigated. According to him, the report includes also facts of intolerance towards minorities.
It was also discussed that on July 15, 2014, the Public Defender of Georgia addressed the Minister of Internal Affairs of Georgia to initiate disciplinary proceedings against the employees of the Akhalkalaki Police Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs who refused the entrance of the representative of the Public Defender to the temporary detention isolator on July 11.
According to the media, the statement of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia indicated that the information provided by the Public Defender was not true and the law enforcement officers did not create any obstacles to the representative Armen Marangozyan. According to the statement of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, a citizen visited by a representative of the Public Defender was being interrogated. The Deputy Chief of the Police Department explained to the representative of the Public Defender that nobody under the above-mentioned name was in the building.
The Public Defender considers that the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia shall immediately launch an in-service inspection of the alleged fact that “the representative of the Public Defender should have the unimpeded access to the Police Department in spite of the fact whether the detainee was located there or not. As far as the above requirement was not fulfilled, there is an impediment to the activities of the Public Defender,” Nanuashvili stated.