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Eka Beselia Quits as Parliamentary Committee Head, Says Judges are Reason

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Friday, December 28
Head of Parliament’s Legal Affairs Committee Eka Beselia quit post on Thursday and claimed that the decision was related to “hasty and unacceptable” process of lifetime appointment of judges with “controversial past” to the Supreme Court of Georgia.

“With my decision, the process, which I believe is very harmful, is temporarily suspended” Beselia stated regarding the nomination of 10 judges for the Supreme Court of Georgia who should be confirmed by parliament.

She also said that she made the decision only after his deputy Vano Zardiashvili wrote a note for resignation.

Beselia did not hide her negative attitude towards Zardiashvili and said: “I would not have left the Legal Committee in his hands.”

Beselia says that the High Council of Justice (HCJ), an independent body which is responsible for selection and appointment of judges, must withdraw the list of judges it offered the parliament and the selection process of judges for the Supreme Court should be newly regulated.

She said that several judges in the list are linked with politically grounded cases and unfair verdicts, citing the case of her son and brother and several of her teammates.

Member of the United National Movement opposition Salome Samadashvili says that Beselia “appeared in the blacklist” of the founder of the Georgian Dream ruling party, billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili and stated that Beselia has been engaged only with accumulating money.

“Beselia will have to quit the post anyway, she knew that Ivanishvili has changed his mind about her and is now trying to avoid detention,” Samadashvili writes.

Eight judge members of the High Council of Justice (HCJ) presented the list of candidates for the Supreme Court on December 24 without previous consultations or warning of non-judge members of the 15-member body, Georgian Public Defender, NGOs and the non-judge members of the council stated.

Both the process of selection of the judges and several judges in the list has become the subject of criticism by the civil sector, public defender and several leading figures of the Georgian Dream ruling party.

The non-judge members of the council have mentioned Zardiashvili’s possible involvement in the process and his “close ties” with several judges in the list.

Nazi Janezashvili from the council also commented on Zardiashvili’s friendship with one of the most controversial judges Mikheil Chinchaladze, who now chairs the Court of Appeals, and is on the list offered to parliament for the Supreme Court.

Georgian Prime Minister Mamuka Bakhtadze claims that the executive government does not interfere in the job of legislative authorities.

He also said that it is not a problem if there is a controversy in the ruling team, as “everyone has their own view, it is democracy.”