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New department created to investigate offences committed by public servants

By Tea Mariamidze
Tuesday, March 3
The Department of Investigation of Offenses Committed in Legal Proceedings has been created in the Office of the Chief Prosecutor of Georgia, which will investigate crimes committed by public servants in result whereof citizens have suffered physical and material damage.

The Department will focus on the investigation of criminal acts set forth in the claims and statements filed with the Office of the Chief Prosecutor since October 1, 2012.

Out of these criminal acts, priority will be given to the investigation of crimes such as unlawful deprivation of property and acts of violence, which include beating and torture, inhumane and degrading treatment and all crimes of the commission of which a public servant or an equivalent person is accused.

This department is being staffed by the Head of the Department, a Deputy Head of the Department, four prosecutors, ten investigators and four coordinators.

The Prosecutor’s Office stresses that in the process of staffing the department, high public interest was taken into account, and the selection of personnel was carried out with “extreme caution”.

“Those persons were appointed as investigators and prosecutors in the department, against whom no legal complaint is recorded in the claims and statements filed with the Office of the Chief Prosecutor of Georgia,” the office states.

The Chief Prosecutor’s Office will make a presentation on the activities of this department on March 4, 2015, and will inform the public in detail about the functions, duties and plans of the new department.

Several NGOs have politely assessed the creation of such a department. However, Transparency International Georgia and the Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association (GYLA) have pushed forward their recommendations.

“The criteria of selecting the investigators and the cases they will deal with should be clearly defined,” head of TI Eka Gigauri said.

The head of the GYLA Ana Natsvlishvili stated that law-enforcement bodies are responsible for investigating any wrongdoing.

The opposition United National Movement claims that the Prosecutor’s Office is influenced by the government and the body has turned it into the lever of political persecution.