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Against overriding Presidentís veto

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Thursday, March 23
Some NGOs have stated they would appeal the surveillance law if Parliament overrides the Presidentís veto.

Head of Transparency International Georgia, Eka Gigauri, stressed that the draft surveillance law offered by the ruling team contradicted the demand of the Constitutional Court and created the threat of illegal wiretapping.

Gigauri said there would be no need for the appeal if the legislative body approved the Presidentís motivated remarks over the bill and wouldnít leave the access to surveillance under the State Security Service.

NGOs also threaten if approved they would also appeal the law to the European Court of Human Rights.

The parliamentary opposition share the NGOs' view, stating that the bill is against state interests.

President of Georgia Giorgi Margvelashvili vetoed the majority-proposed surveillance bill two days ago, stressing that the draft law does not adhere to the demands of the countryís Constitutional Court, and would also place a serious financial burden on communication companies.

Margvelashviliís veto came after the Constitutional Court of Georgia blocked the Parliament-adopted surveillance law, with Georgia's law enforcement agencies and the Personal Data Protection Inspector having access to surveillance, and gave Parliament time until March 31 to elaborate changes that would deprive law enforcers of direct access to wiretapping.

The law adopted under the current ruling Georgian Dream leadership was rejected by the court and was also vetoed by the President, but Parliament managed to override the veto.

The President highlighted that the creation of an agency under the State Security Service, as it is written in the current bill, opposes the demands of the Constructional Court and damages business interests, as the bill obliges communication companies to purchase equipment necessary for eavesdropping.