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Court is free from political influences

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Monday, January 16
The head of the Supreme Court of Georgia - appointed by the President - says that the current court system is “absolutely free from political interferences.”

Georgia’s top judge, Nino Gvenetadze, says there have always been high profile cases in the court.

"High-profile cases always exist in the court. We ensure transparency in the cases where public interest is high. I declare with full responsibility that the court is free from political or any other influences," Gvenetadze claimed.

Gvenetadze stated that several key reforms were carried out in the court system last year and in previous years which would continue in 2017.

One of the main problems for the court system named by the female chairperson concerned the insufficient number of judges.

“The number of judges in 2015 amounted to 230. In 2016, the number was increased to 267. We plan more growth for this year and plan to increase the number of judges to 319,” Gvenetadze said.

As for the criticism of the High Council of Justice, an independent organ created to co-ordinate the judiciary system and to promote the effectiveness and independence of the judiciary by NGOs and the opposition, Gvenetadze said they have active cooperation with Georgia-based NGOs.

“The Council meetings are open and available to any interested person and also to the broad public. We even managed to ensure live broadcasting of the Council meetings,” Gvenetadze stated.

“I think that in 2016, the High Court of Justice was the most open and transparent," she added.

The United National Movement opposition party is very active in criticizing the court system, saying the system (as well as the Prosecutor’s Office) are under the influence of the current ruling Georgian Dream Government and its founder, former Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili, who is an “informer ruler” of the country.