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PACE says pre-trial detention in Georgia should be abolished

By Tea Mariamidze
Friday, October 2
The Parliamentary Assembly of Council of Europe has adopted a resolution concerning the unreasonable use of pre-trial detention in the member countries of the European Convention on Human Rights, including Georgia.

PACE legislators did not take into account the main corrections initiated by the Georgian Dream representatives and criticize Georgian government for pre-trial detentions of political figures.

The resolution was adopted by 89 votes for and 10 against at the plenary session of Parliamentary Assembly of Council of Europe.

The account was prepared by the presenter of the Parliamentary Assembly MP Pedro Agramunt, who said that politically motivated detentions of politicians in Georgia are alarming.

“The fact that half of the former government is in prison and the other half has left the country is deeply concerning,” Agramunt stated.

As noted by Article 2 of Resolution 2015 (2014) on the Functioning of Democratic Institutions in Georgia, “Almost the entire leadership of the former ruling party has been arrested or is under prosecution or investigation.” Amongst them is one of United National Movement (UNM) leaders and former Tbilisi Mayor Gigi Ugulava, who “was arrested days prior to the runoff and placed in pre-trial detention, sparking widespread criticism”.

The report reads that “continued and unreasonable use of pre-trial detention” is one of the main findings in Georgia.

The members of the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly called on the Georgian authorities to address the concerns enumerated in the presented documents and in particular pre-trial detention of political figures.

The UNM leader, Davit Bakradze also gave speech at the session. He said that the existence of the political prisoners in Georgia is a “fundamental problem and the example of this is the imprisonment of former Tbilisi Mayor Gigi Ugulava”.

The majority member Manana Kobakhidze assessed the PACE resolution as disrespecting the Georgian Court and intervention in its activities.

She said at the session that every person in Georgia is equal before the law and the immunity will not protect politicians and officials if they have violated the law.

"Our team is committed to European values and standards of human rights. That is why we have made important reforms in the justice sector", she stated.