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Bar Association concerned over statements made by high-rank officials

By Tea Mariamidze
Thursday, June 11
The Bar Association of Georgia has released a statement addressing the Chair of the Supreme Court Nino Gvenetadze and Supreme Justice Council to respond to the statements made by high-ranking officials with regards to the jury trials.

The statement says that some officials are regularly expressing their personal opinions about various high-profile cases, including Jury trial system that is beyond their rights.

According to the Association any such statements will be considered as the pressure on the Jury Trial System and intervention in the activities of the Court.

It also said that such examples of intervention include the statement made by The Prime Minister of Georgia Irakli Garibashvili in April, 2015, when he called the decision of a judge to sequestrate Rustavi Metallurgic Factory a subversive decision, and his statement was followed by the changes in the verdict and the seizure was removed from the factory.

Another intervention from the side of PM occurred recently, when Garibashvili said that the Jury Institution has failed and additional measures should be taken for improving the structure.

The PM made the statement in response to the notorious case of Lasha Makharadze, 25, who was shot dead on September 2, 2014.

The Association of Lawyers expressed their concern over the fact that despite the notes made towards these officials, such occasions still happen and the notes from the Court System, lawyers and number of non-governmental organizations were not considered.

They called upon the politicians, media representatives and the public to respect the Judiciary System and refrain from expressing any kind of personal viewpoints concerning the Court affairs.

They reiterated that such actions harm the democratic image of the country and reduces the trust towards the Court system.

The statement also condemned the pressure set on the lawyers, who participate in the notorious cases and says that it is unacceptable to identify lawyers with their clients.

In the end, the lawyers addressed the Chairperson of the Supreme Court Nino Gvenetadze and the Supreme Justice Council to respond and react to the statements made by high-rank officials, prevent any attempt of interfering in the judicial affairs and ensure an independent, impartial and based on the equality principles implementation of justice.