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Public Defender Responds to Prosecutor Jarji Tsiklauri's Accusations

September 06, 2017

The Public Defender of Georgia is responding to the public statement of Jarji Tsiklauri, the prosecutor in the so-called cyanide case, and calls on him to refrain from intentionally making incorrect statements, to respect the constitutional mandate of the Public Defender and to show professional respect for the employees of the Public Defender's Office.

It is unfortunate when public officials forget that according to the constitution, the main function of the Public Defender is to monitor the protection of human rights and freedoms throughout Georgia. Consequently, the Public Defender was fully authorized to introduce the results of the monitoring of the trial to the public without any agreement with the Prosecutor's Office.

The Public Defender does not represent the "fourth instance" court and therefore, the introduction of the results of the monitoring carried out by him in the given case does not contain signs of the functions of the fourth instance. In particular, the Public Defender has not changed the judge's verdict or has not instructed the judge what measures should have been taken by him during the hearing of the case. The Public Defender of Georgia only informed the public of the results of the monitoring due to the high interest, which was in compliance with the constitution and the organic law.

According to the Organic Law of Georgia on the Public Defender of Georgia, "the Public Defender of Georgia shall supervise the protection of and respect for the rights and freedoms by the authorities… public institutions and officials for all persons across Georgia and under its jurisdiction."

It is interesting that Mr prosecutor described the information contained in the parliamentary report as "preliminary and biased". The Public Defender considers that the Deputy Head of the Investigation Department of the Prosecutor's Office should understand the essence of the presumption of innocence. It is unclear what additional material is needed to identify the breach of the presumption of innocence when everyone heard the statements made by high officials (including the Chief Prosecutor) after the arrest of Giorgi Mamaladze.

The ungrounded allegations of the Prosecutor's Office were caused by the proper implementation of his powers by the Public Defender. We’d like to remind the public that the Public Defender was the only one who provided information to the public from the very beginning about the placement of Giorgi Mamaladze in the penitentiary establishment, his health condition and the motive for his hunger strike. We once again note that no basis for closing the trial has been provided in the given case. Protection of the rights and interests of the third parties was possible as a result of partial closure of the trial.

It is noteworthy that the Prosecutor's Office banned the defendant’s lawyers from disclosing case materials from the very beginning and wanted to conduct the investigation and the trial without public control. The mentioned statements also served the same purpose - not to disclose the violations in the case. That's why Prosecutor Zviad Gubeladze asks questions about how the Public Defender had been involved in the case or why he had been communicating with the press.

The Public Defender has repeatedly expressed respect for the court and said that he had been waiting for the motivation part of the verdict of the cyanide case. The Public Defender has only reviewed the gaps in the investigation of the case. In the public statement of September 5, there was no discussion of the sufficiency of proofs or the issue of the standard of proof. Accordingly, the prosecutors’ statements are simply not true.

Finally, the Public Defender urges Jarji Tsiklauri to respect the constitutional institution of the Public Defender and refrain from making disrespectful personal statements in relation to the Public Defender's representatives. Similar unprofessional attitude, first of all, damages the reputation of the Prosecutor’s Office. 

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