Public Defender's Office Starts Examination of the Dispersal of the June 20-21 Rally

On 2 July 2019, the Public Defender's Office started to study the criminal case (#074220619801) of alleged abuse of power by the employees of the Ministry of Internal Affairs on 20-21 June 2019 (investigation of the June 20-21 developments).

The Public Defender's Office will evaluate the investigation process by taking into account the international standards of effective investigation. Independence, timeliness, accuracy and competence of investigation, as well as involvement of victims in the process, will be the evaluation criteria. The Public Defender's Office will particularily focus on whether: all necessary investigative/procedural actions were conducted; investigative/procedural actions were conducted in a timely manner; investigation is not unreasonably delayed; investigative actions were conducted fully and with due diligence.

The specifics of monitoring the investigation of the June 20-21 developments are extraordinary and different from the previous practice of the Public Defender's Office. The Office has never identified shortcomings and issued recommendations at the early stage of an investigation. In the past, the Public Defender has introduced the examination results in relation to several cases, but in all those cases, quite a long time had been passed since the launch of the investigation and it was possible to fully evalaute the investigation. As for the investigation of the June 20-21 developments, the Public Defender will have to evaluate the criminal case materials in the course of the investigation process. Despite the lack of experience in this direction, the Public Defender's Office will do its best to assess the investigation in accordance with human rights standards and provide interim and final recommendations to the prosecutors supervising the mentioned criminal case.

The Public Defender's Office cannot replace the supervisory function of the Prosecutor's Office. Moreover, the Office cannot perform the investigative functions. The role of the Public Defender's Office will be to evaluate the effectiveness of the investigation carried out by the investigative body and to develop relevant recommendations to the prosecutors.

For the purpose of monitoring the effectiveness and transparency of the investigation, the Public Defender will set up an advisory council that will bring together representatives of various groups, non-governmental organizations and professional circles. We will additionally inform the public about the above-mentioned in the coming days.

The Public Defender will try to provide information to the public as actively as possible. However, naturally, we will not be able to disclose information regarded as confidential according to the Georgian legislation.

We call on the public to cooperate with the investigative authorities and provide them with any information/documentation at their disposal. If you have any complaint regarding the investigation process, please contact the Public Defender's Office.

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