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Minister to reveal secret when she quits

By Tea Mariamidze
Tuesday, July 1
Minister of Justice Tea Tsulukiani is going to uncover a “secret” about the Georgian-Russian legal suit after she resigns.

Several days ago, Tsulukiani stated that “someone” had been exerting pressure on her to withdraw the suit “Georgia v. Russia” from the European Court of Human Rights since she was appointed as a minister. The case concerns the alleged harassment of the Georgian immigrant population in the Russian Federation following the arrest in Tbilisi on September 27, 2006 of four Russian service personnel on suspicion of espionage against Georgia.

“I can state that the verdict on the above-mentioned case will be made on July 3. I, as a representative of Georgia, will represent Georgia at court. I am an optimist and I believe that the decision will be a victory for those Georgians, who were expelled from the territory of Russia in 2006. I believe that July 3 will be a very important event in the history of Georgian law,” Tea Tsulukiani said, stressing that she will name those who tried to suspend the suit at the court after she quits her post as a minister.

The Georgian government has maintained that the reaction of the Russian authorities to the incident in September 2006 had amounted to an administrative practice of the official authorities giving rise to specific and continuing breaches of the European Convention on Human Rights and its protocols.

The Georgian government also complained of the conditions in which “at least 2,380 Georgians” had been detained. They asserted that the collective expulsion of Georgians from the Russian Federation had involved a systematic and arbitrary interference with these persons’ legitimate right to remain in Russia – a right duly evidenced by regular documents – as well as with the requirements of due process and statutory appeal process. In addition to having closed the land, air and maritime border between the Russian Federation and Georgia, thereby interrupting all postal communication, it had allegedly frustrated access to remedies for the persons affected.

The Russian Federation claims that the detention of Russians in Georgia had nothing in common with the developments described by the Georgian government in its suit. The Federation states that the activities carried out in 2006 were done to combat illegal immigration into the Federation.