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Ombudsman: Public Defender should become too comfortable in Gov’t

By Messenger Staff
Wednesday, October 18
Georgia’s Public Defender, Ucha Nanuashvili, whose term in the role expires in December, says that a public defender must not create a comfort for government.

“I urge the public defender, who will replace me, not to become too comfortable in any government,” Nanuashvili stated.

He says he has no information who may replace his position.

“It is not a question, which I should be asked” Nanuashvili said.

He refrained from stating where he may continue his career.

Nanuashvili was recently grilled by Interior Minister Giorgi Mghebrishvili, who criticized Nanuashvili for making a statement over the alleged abuse of a person at a police station.

"The Minister does not have a full understanding of the Public Defender`s mandate and, in general, of human rights," the Ombusdman responded.

“This is very sad because the Public Defender behaved in accordance with the mandate, when the Minister speaks using jargon, I think it is very sad, and in fact there are systemic problems in that the aim of this statement is simply to overshadow what actually happened," Nanuashvili added.

The candidate, who gains the most votes in the 150-member legislative body, will be appointed for the Public Defender’s position.

What is of utmost importance is to share common beliefs and values about the mission and tasks of the Public Defender among all stakeholders, in particular, the Ombudsman’s office, the government, non-government sector and wider Society. Without this common understanding and commitment to adhering to protection of human rights from the side of Ombudsman’s office and the government any promising candidate might fail the public’s expectations.