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NGOs skeptical over new department in Prosecutor’s Office

By Tea Mariamidze
Thursday, March 26
33 non-governmental organizations declared their lack of trust in the recently created special body at the Prosecutor Office with regard to the crimes committed under the previous government.

The Third Sector believes that the steps towards the study of justice wrongdoings and its elimination should not be superficial and unprepared.

The Institute for Development of Freedom of Information (IDFI) managed to get the data from the Prosecutor’s Office only after an administrative complaint was lodged.

According to them, after the change of government, 53, 000 applications were filed at the Prosecutor's Office, 11,000 of them requested immediate investigation, and 697 asked for their property back.

The IDFI did not receive an answer to their question as to whether the prosecutors accused in various cases are studying the claims themselves or not.

Former Public Defender Giorgi Tugushi blames the Prosecutor’s Office in speculating about the numbers, and says that the number of complaints is fewer, and that only 600 cases were under investigation.

The opposition criticized the government’s attitude towards the issue. The United National Party (UNM) stressed that the campaign “serves only political persecution.”

Georgia’s ombudsman Ucha Nanuashvili thinks that the problem is in the system itself, and that one department in the Prosecutor’s Office would not be able to deal with all the complaints and applications.

“We demand one separate body to be created, which will investigate the crimes committed by law enforcement and state officials,” Nanuashvili stressed.

The Prosecutor’s Office stated that the number of affected people is over 53,000, and that the study of their cases has been sped up.

Majority MP Eka Beselia states that the Prosecutor’s Office is eager to investigate the crimes in timely manner. She stress that the government does not interfere in the body’s issues.

She also states that Giorgi Tughushi, when he was public defender under the UNM, always refrained from reporting political persecutions, and never recognized the existence of political prisoners.

“His statements are very similar to the claims made by the UNM,” Beselia says.

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, and as a result, where citizens have suffered physical and material damage.