The messenger logo

Public Defender starts to examine dispersal of June 20-21 rallies

By Nika Gamtsemlidze
Wednesday, July 3
Public Defenderís Office started to investigate the criminal case on the alleged abuse of power by the employees of the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA) during the protests of June 20-21.

According to the Office of the Public Defender, they have paid attention to whether all necessary investigative/procedural actions have been conducted, and if they were carried out promptly.

According to the Ombudsman, the Public Defenderís Office will evaluate the investigation process by taking into account the international standards of effective investigation. Independence, timeliness, accuracy, and competence of the process, as well as the involvement of victims in the process, will be the evaluation criteria.

ďThe specifics of monitoring the investigation of the June 20-21 developments are extraordinary and different from the previous practice of the Public Defenderís Office. The Office has never identified shortcomings and issued recommendations at the early stage of an investigation,Ē reads the statement of Public Defender.

According to the Public Defenderís Office, despite the lack of experience in this regard they will do everything to assess the investigation following human rights standards and will finally provide recommendations to the prosecutors supervising the criminal case.

Since the Ombudsman cannot replace the supervisory function of the Prosecutorís Office, which will not be able to perform investigative functions.

According to the statement of the Public Defender, they will have a role to evaluate the effectiveness of the investigation carried out by the investigative body and will provide relevant recommendations to the prosecutors.

The Public Defender will ensure to provide information to the public as actively as possible, but, as they noted, ďwe will not be able to disclose information regarded as confidential according to the Georgian legislation.Ē

They also encouraged people to cooperate with the investigative authorities and provide them with any information/documentation at their disposal.

For the effectiveness and transparency of the investigation, the Public Defender will create a Consultative Council, which will consist of different groups, non-governmental organizations, and professional circles.

General Inspection of the Ministry of Internal Affairs has already launched an investigation regarding the alleged abuse of power by the employees of MIA.

According to the MIA, 10 officers have already been suspended. As the representatives of the Ministry said, signs of criminal offense were found in the actions of 2 officers, so the materials were sent to the General Prosecutorís Office.

The dispersal of the rally started after the protesters tried to take the building of the Parliament of Georgia. As the Prosecutorís Office reported, people were led by the leaders of the opposition parties, after which the Prosecutor demanded the arrest one of the members of the United National Movement, Nikanor Melia.

The protests started after a Russian MP sat in the chair of the Speaker during the Inter-parliamentary Assembly on Orthodoxy session at the Parliament of Georgia.