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President Stands for His Pick at High Council of Justice

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Wednesday, February 21
(TBILISI)--Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili praised his pick at the High Council of Justice, Anna Dolidze, and says he hopes the process in the independent body responsible for unbiased judiciary becomes more “civilized.”

The statement came after the judge members of the Council accused Dolidze of cooperating with the Russian NGO registered in Netherlands and of “providing the organization with the evidence against Georgia related to the 2008 Russia-Georgia war.”

“She was collecting information about the wrongdoings of Georgian soldiers during the war and was sending the materials to the Russian Justice Initiative NGO,” Dimitri Gvritishvili from the High Council of Justice stated.

He also believes the NGO used the materials sent by Dolidze to file lawsuits in the European Court of Human Rights against Georgia and accuse the country of violating of fundamental human rights.

Fellow representative of the Council Sergo Metopishvili claimed that “allegedly Dolidze was not a spy, and did the job for money.”

“The High Council of Justice must not have the member like Dolidze,” both stated.

Dolidze responded that she really worked for the NGO but collected evidence and materials against Russia and not Georgia.

“The NGO, the judges have mentioned, files lawsuits against Russia in the European Court of Human Rights. Many lawsuits against Russia in the court are by the NGO in Netherlands,” Dolidze stated.

She stressed that the High Council Members intend to “silence” her criticism and discredit her in order to avoid uncomfortable questions from her.

Prior to the interviews dedicated to the life appointing of judges, Dolidze said that those judges who had been influenced by former officials under the United National Movement leadership must have been removed from the system.

She highlighted that without the step, genuine justice reform would not be carried out.

The statement caused stir in the High Council of Justice members and among many of the judges who applied for the life appointment.

Some of the judges addressed the Council not to let Dolidze during the interviews. The Council met the appeal.

“Dolidze was not afraid by the previous state leadership and it is funny someone or something to fright her,” Margvelashvili stated.

The High Council of Justice underwent major changes in 2013.

The Council is now composed of 15 members.

8 members are elected by the self-governing body of judges, 5 members -by the Parliament of Georgia and one member is appointed by the president.

Margvelashvili appointed Dolidze in the role in early January of this year.

The HCOJ was created to coordinate the judiciary system and to promote the effectiveness and independence of the judiciary.