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Controversial figure as a chairman of Court of Appeals

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Wednesday, May 31
Mikheil Chinchaladze, who previously served as Deputy Chairman of the Supreme Court, has been appointed as the new chairperson of the Court of Appeals, after his 10-year-term in the Supreme Court expired and he was appointed as a lifetime judge in the Court of Appeals, without any probation period as was common earlier.

Twelve members of the Council supported Chinchaladze’s candidacy; only one member voted against him.

Non-governmental organizations and opposition parties protested against Chinchaladze's candidacy.

They claimed that the government needed “odious figures” like Chinchaladze in order to control the court.

Valeri Tsertsvadze, the former Chairman of the Court of Appeals, resigned on May 25.

Chinchaladze stated all the accusations against him over the alleged pressure on the judges presiding over the notorious Rustavi 2 TV channel case (with the current and former owners disputing ownership of the company) were 'invented'.

The opposition United National Movement party stated Chinchaladze was cotrolled by the current authorities and he was actively used against Rustavi 2.

The party said that Parliament accepted the lifetime appointment of judges who had served in the system because of people like Chinchaladze, “who were needed for the government and ex-Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili’s interests”.

The civil sector stated that from 2007 until now, Chinchaladze had discussed only 250 cases, when the number of cases discussed by other Supreme Court judges exceeded thousands in the same time period.

The civil sector stood against Chinchaladze’s appointment in the Court of Appeals even before he became the court's chair.