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Constitutional Court to discuss Parliament’s appeal

By Messenger Staff
Thursday, November 12
Georgia’s Constitutional Court has responded to the appeal of Georgia’s Parliament concerning the overriding of two members of the court's judges concerning the legal dispute between the current and former owners of Rustavi 2.

The Constitutional Court ruled that the enforcement of any court ruling over the Rustavi 2 case would not take place until the dispute has covered all legal instances; both sides in the case are currently appealing the verdict.

The Parliament majority members state that two judges of the Constitutional Court, Maia Kopaleishvili and Konstantine Vardzelashvili, were affiliated with the Director of Rustavi 2, Nika Gvaramia, as Kopaleishvili and Vardzelashvili’s wife served as Gvaramia’s deputies when the latter held ministerial posts under the previous state leadership.

The head of the Constructional Court, Giorgi Papuashvili, who also was Minister of Justice and Environment Protection under the previous government, stated that the Constitutional Court would study the appeal and then deliver a verdict.

However, Papuahsvili revealed his surprise as there had never been any question marks over the individuals before.

Vardzelashvili refrained from any detailed comments, saying only that his wife served as Gvaramia’s deputy for just five months.

It is generally accepted that under the previous state leadership, the courts made verdicts that were in the interests of the government.

When coming to power, the Georgian Dream coalition intended to carry out reform of the court system. However, they ultimately decided against any radical reform, neither dismissing any judges nor sending them to prison for unjust rulings.

Thus, Georgia now mostly has the same judges that it had during the Saakashvili era, which naturally causes many to wonder whether these judges can deliver fair verdicts. They may even be at risk of blackmail from former state officials for having carried out sentences in the previous government's interest.

The fact remains that apart from the issue that the government must not interfere in legal issues, the system should be cleansed from unscrupulous judges, especially those who might be under the influence of former government officials (or, indeed, at risk from the same).

It is clear that after a detailed investigation and study of the cases, Georgia needs a court system free from all types of political interference.