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Opposition Says Gov’t Not Eager Investigate Offences by Law Enforcers

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Tuesday, March 27
The European Georgia opposition claims that the draft law initiated by the government of Georgia to address alleged offences committed by law enforcers “is useless, and is not likely” to settle the issues frequently mentioned by local and international organizations.

The opposition and the civil sector, which have long demanded a separate body investigating alleged crimes by law enforcers, state that boosting the rights of the Personal Data Protection Inspection to investigate such cases is not the step that can change the reality.

“The government is trying to create illusion as if they are taking steps to settle the serious problem, when nothing significant is being done for that,” Irakli Abesadze from the European Georgia opposition stated on Monday.

“The Personal Data Protection Inspection will not have an access to all alleged crimes committed by law enforcers and at the same time, the inspector will be supervised by a prosecutor that will lower changes of an effective investigation,” Abesadze said.

The government of Georgia allowed boosting the rights for the Personal Data Protection Inspector at the end of January 2018.

“There will be no conflict of interest as the Personal Data Protraction Service in not affiliated with any law enforcement agencies,” the current Personal Data Protection Inspector Tamar Kaldani stated.

Amendments are planned to 21 laws before the service officially kicks off.

The service will be controlled by parliament and the legislative body will appoint the heads for the new structure for a term of five years.

Georgian Justice Minister Tea Tsulukiani stated that the country will not have “two Prosecutor’s Offices,” to address such crimes.

Tsulukiani stated that beginning January 1, 2019 the Inspector will receive new rights.

The government is believes that Parliament will support the changes as the Georgian Dream has 116 lawmakers in the 150-member legislative body.

"There is no such foreign practice and Georgia has no international obligation to create a separate Prosecutor’s Office to prosecute alleged offenders from the law enforcement agencies only. Moreover, forming another such body will affect state interests,” Tsulukiani stated.

A special commission composed of all three government branches and NGOs will select candidates for the State Inspector.

From the candidates the government will choose two and send the nominations to parliament. The legislative body will vote for the candidates and confirm one for the new role.

The Amnesty International, a London-based NGO for human rights with more than seven million members and supporters worldwide, stated in its annual report that impunity for human rights abuses committed by Georgian law enforcement officers persisted, while the government continued to promise, but failed to deliver an independent investigation mechanism.