The messenger logo

Waiting for Council of Europe resolution

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Thursday, October 2
The Council of Europe will adopt its resolution over Georgia soon. The resolution text is available to the public depicts various achievements in different fields. However, it also illustrates significant gaps Georgia should fill in. According to the organization, such “downfalls” mainly concern the election climate, several cases of alleged religious intolerance, law-enforcement bodies, the Prosecutor’s Office and the cases of former officials.

The esembly welcomed the peaceful and calm conduct of the local elections on 15 June and 12 July 2014, which took place in an improved electoral environment. However, it expressed its concern about isolated violent incidents during the campaign period and about the persistent allegations of pressure and intimidation of opposition candidates to withdraw their candidacies. The organization calls on the government to transparently investigate such issues and address them in line with Georgian legislation.

Concerning the charges against former officials, the CoE resolution text reads that no one is above the law, but urges the current government to make sure that the current process is not influenced by political motivations.

When it comes to former Defence Minister Bacho Akhalaia, CoE expresses its concern about the length of the pre-trial detention of the former official, stating that the authorities should use all legal means available to replace his detention with some other non-custodial precautionary measure.

The resolution text also expresses concern in terms of the controversy between the president and the Prime Minister.

Member of the parliamentary minority Giorgi Kandelaki states that there is little chance that the resolution text will be amended. He stressed that the text reads directly that the current situation against former officials is unfair.

Member of parliamentary majority Guguli Maghradze responds that the text might be amended and there are unlikely to be concrete names. She admits that Georgian legislation suggests only two methods concerning detainees- bail or pre-trial detention. She stresses that Akhalaia’s accusations were grave and the court decided to use the second method.

Co-author of the report Boris Silevich states that their main aim was to indicate its shortcomings. He emphasizes that human rights protection is essential even in the case of grave accusations.

Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili said that based on his sources, the resolution text was amended regarding the former officials’ cases.

“Our delegation is working very effectively, they are providing the council with genuine information and not with rumors as the UNM does,” Gharibashvili said.