13:37, Sunday, 29.03.2015
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Israeli Businessmen to Appeal Directly to European Court of Human Rights (ECHR)

On April 1st, the judge of Tbilisi City Court Vazha Pukhashvili passed the verdict against the Israeli businessmen arrested under the charges of offering a bribe. The verdict envisages 7-year imprisonment of Ronnie Fuchs and 6-year imprisonment of Zeev Frenkel.

Israeli businessmen were arrested last year on October 14th in Batumi. They were charged with the offence of offering a bribe to the government official. The lawyers of the defendants see no meaning in the appealing to Georgian courts and plan to directly address the European Court of Human Rights.

The lawyer of the Israeli businessmen Archil Kbilashvili talked about sending the case to ECHR. While talking with the Human Rights Center Kbilashvili noted that the idea about addressing the ECHR belongs to the British lawyer of the defendants Jeffrey Robertson. However, he is not against this decision: “British lawyer has the statistics of 2010 according to which, more than 99% of the verdicts passed in Tbilisi are guilty verdicts. This statistics means that there is no meaning in going through all the instances on the local level. Despite the appealing, the process will end by guilty verdict. Statistics give us no hope. In these conditions, British lawyer considers that it is essential and reasonable to directly address the ECHR though we have not exhausted all the court instances on the local level yet. I have nothing against this decision of the British lawyer. According to the statistical data that we possess, the logic is on his side. I also think that it is reasonable to directly address the ECHR.

According to Archil Kbilashvili, this decision does not mean that the higher instances of the court will be neglected. the appealing will take place on the local level as well, but in parallel the second procedure – appealing against the decision of Tbilisi City Court to ECHR will take place.

Salome Achba

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