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Conference to select new Chief Prosecutor

By Tea Mariamidze
Tuesday, October 20
“For the first time in the history of prosecution in Georgia, all prosecutors and investigators will have the ability to decide who will lead the Prosecutor's Office. Also for the first time, we are given a chance to choose the members of the Prosecutorial Council,” the Chief Prosecutor Giorgi Badashvili stated at the Prosecutors Conference, a gathering of prosecutors and Prosecutor's Office investigators with the support of US Embassy, the European Council and the European Union.

The Conference is underway in Tbilisi, Hualing Tbilisi Sea New City, conducted by the Georgian Prosecutors’ conference chairman – the main prosecutor of Georgia, and is scheduled to last from October 19 to October 21.

It should be noted that from September 28 2015, amendments to Georgian law regarding prosecutors came into force, which determined the means of selecting the main prosecutor and to ensure the independence and transparency of the Prosecutor’s Office, and for the effective accomplishment of its functions there will be an independent body under the Ministry of Justice of Georgia – the Prosecutor's Council.

The Council consists of 15 members and 8 of them must be prosecutors. The selection of council members is carried out by the prosecutors and investigators present at the conference through anonymous voting. Overall, 438 prosecutors are participating in the conference and 17 candidates for the council will be named from them. Ultimately, 8 prosecutors will be chosen from the candidates, who - along with the other council members - will then choose a new Chief Prosecutor of Georgia.

According to the Prosecutor’s Office, the process is open for media representatives, who have requested accreditation from the Georgian Main Prosecutor’s Office.

“Today is a very special day and I am glad that the process of establishing a more independent Prosecutor’s Office takes place during my tenure,” said Chief Prosecutor Giorgi Badashvili.

He hopes that the future Prosecutor will be a guarantor of stability and a protector of the law and human rights.

Carlo Natale, the Deputy EU Ambassador to Georgia, who is also attending the conference, says that the appointment and dismissal of the chief prosecutor should be an open, merit-based, objective and transparent process, free of any inappropriate political interference.

According to him, the EU expresses support to the process of prosecution reform in Georgia and is ready to continue works in this direction.

“We are pleased that the recommendations the Venice Commission had given are reflected in the rules. It is very important that this process is depoliticized, more transparent and more democratic," said the EU Deputy Ambassador.

However, he noted that several recommendations still have not been taken into account, like the strong role of the Government in the process of the candidate approval, which is nominated by the Minister of Justice.