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CRRC: People are divided over independence of prosecutorís office of Georgia

Tuesday, November 12
Caucasus Research Resource Center (CRRC) conducted a study, according to which, on February 23rd, 2019, Rustavi 2 broadcasted an investigation that Studio Monitor and Radio Liberty carried out titled ď8 Years in Search of JusticeĒ. The film focused on the Georgian Railway not paying a fair price to citizens when buying lands from them to build a railway bypass.

The film also covered the court case about the issue. On March 7-15, 2019 CRRC-Georgia conducted a phone survey to find out whether people watched the film and what their attitudes were towards the issues raised in it. The survey also contained questions measuring attitudes towards the Prosecutors Office of Georgia (PO).

The data suggest that people are divided over the PO and that those with experiences with the PO have more negative attitudes than those that have not had interactions with the PO.

The film ď8 Years in Search of JusticeĒ was broadcasted on Rustavi 2 and published on their website. It was also published on the Radio Liberty and Studio Monitor websites and Facebook pages. According to the survey, about 2% of Georgian-speaking citizens watched the film. The vast majority watched it on Rustavi 2, and most who watched the film, found it convincing.

Respondents were asked how much they trust or distrust the Prosecutorís Office. People are divided, with 40% reporting they fully trust or more trust than distrust the Prosecutorís Office of Georgia. A similar share (39%) reported they do not trust it. One in five (20%) donít know or refused to answer the question.

People who have had an interaction with the PO or who have a friend or family member that had an interaction with them in recent years have significantly less trust compared to the general public. In total, 8% of the public fall into this category (having some interaction with the PO). Only 28% of those that have had an experience with the PO trust them and 59% distrust them. By comparison, 38% of those who have not had an experience with prosecutors say that they do not trust them and 41% trust them.

Older people distrust the PO more often. About half (46%) of 18-35 yearolds trust the PO, while 38% do not trust them. A further 16% did not know or refused to answer the question. Similar shares in the 36-55 age group trust (45%) and distrust (38%) the PO or donít know or refused to answer (23%). People over 55, however, are less trusting towards the PO. Only 29% trust the prosecutorís office of Georgia and 47% distrust it. A similar share (24%) responded donít know or refused to answer to the question as in other age groups. People with the higher education trust the PO more (47%) than people with secondary (36%) or vocational (35%) education.

CRRC-Georgia is a non-governmental, non-profit research organization, which collects, analyzes and publishes policy relevant data on social, economic and political trends in Georgia. CRRC-Georgia, together with CRRC-Armenia and CRRC-Azerbaijan, constitutes a network of research centers with the common goal of strengthening social science research and public policy analysis in the South Caucasus.