Georgian prosecutor general: signing deal with EU prosecutor’s office “step forward” towards bloc

Georgian prosecutor general Irakli Shotadze on Thursday signed an agreement with the European public prosecutor's office. Photo: prosecutor’s office press service, 29 Sep 2022 - 16:50, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgian prosecutor general Irakli Shotadze on Thursday said his body’s recently signed cooperation agreement with the European public prosecutor's office was “another step taken for Georgia’s EU membership”. 

Shotadze and Laura Kövesi, chief prosecutor of the office responsible for investigating, prosecuting and bringing to judgement crimes against the financial interests of the bloc, signed the deal in Tbilisi during the 27th annual conference and general meeting of the International Association of Prosecutors.

The officials said the agreement involved bilateral meetings in a bid to cooperate in finding legal aid, extradition and returning assets obtained from crime, while also sharing experiences and best practices and strengthening cooperation in the field of criminal law.

The agreement is of the utmost importance for the prosecutor’s office of Georgia, and is another very important step taken on the path of Georgia’s European integration”, Shotadze said. 

He also noted the agreement would strengthen cooperation between the two bodies against transnational organised crime including corruption, money laundering, VAT fraud and other financial crimes related to improper use of EU funds. 

The prosecutor general stressed the deal also included appointment of a Georgian representative at the EPPO, with the official set to be stationed at EU offices in Luxembourg.

In her comments, Kövesi added the agreement would allow both parties to “cooperate directly, share information, have contact persons and work together on common cases”.