NGOs demand investigation concerning the Tbilisi Mayors statement

The statement released today is signed by six organizations., 22 Dec 2013 - 00:00, Tbilisi,Georgia

According to the statement of the non-governmental organizations (NGO), the statement made by Giorgi Gigi Ugulava about pressure on the court has to be dealt with.  

The statement released today is signed by six organizations: ISFED (International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy), GYLA (Georgian Young Lawyers Association), TI Georgia (Transparency International Georgia), Georgian Democracy Initiative (GDI), Human Rights Education and Monitoring Center (EMC), and Georgian Lawyers Association.

As Ugulava said, Judge Dali Metreveli experienced pressure from particular authorities and among them from authorities of the MIA General Inspection. Ugulava has named these people, saying they were participants of the pressure imposed on the judge.  

The NGOs believe that the statement made by Ugulava needs to adequately reacted by the related bodies.  

"It is necessary to timely and properly investigate all the facts which may indicate a violation ofindependence of the judiciary. In this given case, we think that the chairman of the Tbilisi City Court has to immediately apply the power granted to him and start an investigation of the facts of any possible insufficient communication with the judge. In case the investigation will find any sign of an offence under the Criminal Code, the case has to be immediately forwarded to the investigating authorities, reads the statement of the organizations.  

The organizations also call on all political parties to refrain from any political statement which may indirectly influence the judges decision, since dissemination of false and incorrect statement will negatively impact the judicial process.

"According to the Criminal Code, the court may consider a motion without the participation of the parties. However, due to the fact that there is a high public interest towards this case since it comes in direct relation with the elected mayor of Tbilisi, it would be better the motion about the mayors dismissal to discuss with attendance of the parties and the defense had possibility to present own arguments, the NGOs stated.  

Tbilisi Mayor, Gigi Ugualva was suspended from his mayoral post this evening. The decision was made by the judge who also held the hearing on the second motion of the prosecution and did not sentence Ugulava to detention. Instead of this, Judge Dali Metreveli release Ugulava on 50 thousand GEL bail.