Non-governmental organizations follow concerned the recent discrediting statements targeted at the current public defender Ucha Nanuashvili, as well as, at the institution of public defender, that have been made in the recent days by members of legislative, judiciary and executive branches of government, including high ranking officials.
These statements mostly concern the results of the monitoring of the so-called cyanide case, published by the public defender on November 15th. In the document, prepared after studying the investigation materials of the case and monitoring of the court process, the ombudsman demonstrates serious procedural shortcomings.
In the report, the public defender mentions all the shortcoming previously brought up and negatively assessed by the non-governmental organizations during the investigation and court process. Specifically, the report negatively assesses: violation of presumption of innocence, limiting the right to an attorney based on, so called, statement of secrecy, complete closure of the court process and etc.
The prosecutor of the so called cyanide case responded to the results of the public defender’s monitoring the next day, aggressive attitude towards the public defender could be easily noticed in the statement. Soon, Tbilisi City Court also made a political statement, which also included degrading reference to the upcoming end of the term of the current public defender. The ongoing political campaign was joined by the Minister of Justice, who unjustly said that Ucha Nanuashvili was the "first unjust public defender”.
The most alarming is the statement of Tbilisi City Court, from which one can only deduct that either the Court has no perception of the mandate of the public defender or this perception is based on political environment, making the situation even more alarming.
It is noteworthy that this isn’t the first case when high ranking government officials are attacking the public defender and criticize him for critical statements.
We call upon the high ranking government officials to abstain from such statements, contributing to disgracing and degrading the institution of public defender, especially on the international arena.
Transparency International Georgia
Media Development Foundation
Center for Human Rights Teaching and Monitoring
Civil Development Agency - CIDA
Human Rights Center
Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association
Open Society Georgia Foundation
International Society For Fair Elections And Democracy
Civil Movement "multinational Georgia”
Multiethnic Resource Center for Civic Education Development