The Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia has initiated changes to provide tougher punishments for concealing, not reporting crime as old-fashioned mentality still make many Georgian citizens not share details with law enforcers to help fast and fair investigations.
Police Initiates Tough Punishment for Concealing, Not Reporting Crime
By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Monday, July 23
Necessity of such amendments was raised by Interior Minister Giorgi Gakharia last year, when two teenage boys were brutally killed in Tbilisi centre and only very few out of 150 witnesses cooperated with law enforcers.
“We have to fight with the mentality when cooperation with law enforcers is regarded as cowardice and humiliation,” Gakharia said.
The amendments read that punishment is also expected to become tougher for giving a false testimony and for the refusal to give a testimony.
“The decision was caused by existing cooperation problems with law enforcers and current inadequate sanctions for the crimes,” the Interior Ministry stated.
The ministry says that for now concealing/not reporting of any type of crime (less grave, grave, particularly grave) is regarded as a less grave crime.
Concealing a crime is punishable by 1-3 years in prison, while not reporting a crime can lead to 2-4 years in prison.
The legal initiative offered by the ministry separates concealing and not reporting of less grave and grave crimes.
"Concealing/not reporting grave or particularly grave crimes will become grave crimes and the allowance of parole for an individual found guilty of the crimes will not be possible,” the ministry announced.
The ministry says that giving a false testimony or the refusal to give a testimony will also be included in the category of grave crimes.
The ministry says that over the course of the past six months 24 individuals have been charged with concealing or not reporting crime, which is equal to the data from last year.
The Ministry of Internal Affairs also stated last week that they have charged one teenager for giving a false testimony in the high profile murder case of David Saralidze and Levan Dadunashvili, two teenagers killed in the deadly school brawl on December 1, 2017.
Two other teenagers have already been sentenced for premeditated murder of Dadunashvili and attempted murder of Saralidze.
Investigation is now trying to find the individual who inflicted deadly injuries on 16-year-old Saralidze.