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Georgia must pay ˆ35,000 for violations committed by previous UNM authorities

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Thursday, June 23
The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) released its verdict on a number of alleged violations that took place under the previous United National Movement (UNM) government.

The Court said the relevant bodies under the previous state leadership violated the law by denying the former head of Georgia’s Civil Aviation Agency (CAA) Zurab Tchankotadze - who took the position between March 2002 and March 2004 and died in January 2013 - a fair trial

Consequently, the Court said Georgia was to pay to the late Tchankotadze’s family ˆ20,000 in damage and ˆ15,000 in respect of costs and expenses.

The case was titled 'Tchankotadze v. Georgia' and it concerned the pre-trial detention of the former CAA head and his criminal conviction of abuse of power.

The ECtHR observed that the Georgian authorities had prosecuted Tchankotadze for his failure to abide by a judgment of the Constitutional Court of January 2003, which had allegedly banned the CAA from charging any fees to civil aviation companies.

However, the ECtHR noted in particular that, having regard to the reasoning of the January 2003 judgment, it could not be concluded that the Constitutional Court had entirely forbidden the CAA from entering into service agreements with civil aviation companies.

The ECtHR therefore found it difficult to understand that the court, when convicting Tchankotadze, had not given any meaningful answer to his defence argument that he had merely followed the Constitutional Court’s indication to enter into such contractual relationships.

Tchankotadze was arrested on March 16 2004 and spent four years in prison.

He held a special state order for the successful completion of a military task, as he managed to survive and transport many people from de-facto Abkhazia region during the armed confrontation in 1992-1993.