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PM says Gov’t and Public Have Questions to Some of the Judges

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Monday, February 26
(TBILISI)--Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili has responded to the life appointment of 44 judges by the Supreme Council of Justice, an independent body responsible for unbiased judiciary, and stated that the government of Georgia and citizens would like to receive answers about competence of some of the judges.

The PM spoke about “values” of the Georgian Dream ruling party and the reasons why the Georgian people replaced the United National Movement (UNM) government in 2012.

Kvirikashvili emphasised that Georgians have been fighting for justice and now deserve “grounded answers” on why the Council appointed some judges for life, whose verdicts on high-profile cases delivered under the UNM leadership, were later declared as unfair by the Strasbourg-based European Court of Human Rights.

The PM mentioned the judge Manuchar Kapanadze who delivered the verdict on notorious Sulkhan Molashvili case, about the man who was later declared as the victim of the United National Movement government by the European Court.

“I believe that it is necessary that people receive grounded answers to their questions. The questions are absolutely legitimate,” Kvirikashvili said.

Margvelashvili has appealed to the High Council of Justice to announce moratorium on life appointment of judges until the parliament adopted the law which supported “clearing of the justice system” from those judges delivering biased verdicts.

The President’s pick in the High Council of Justice Anna Dolidze has announced a “decisive battle” against the judges “who worked for officials”. Since then she had been attacked by the judge members of the Council many of which were the judges who applied for the life appointment.

The civil sector believes that the PM’s statement on judges was “belated”, and the Georgian Dream government, who had promised systemic court reform, was taking slow steps to the goal.

Changes in the law in terms of permanent appointment of judges were carried out under the Georgian Dream governance in 2013 in order to boost independence of judges.