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Cases of Advocate Giorgi Mdinaradze and so-called Cyanide Case in the US State Department Report

24.04.2018

The Country Reports on the State of Human Rights of the US State Department, which was released on April 21, reviews the cases of the advocate Giorgi Mdinaradze and the archpriest Giorgi Mamaladze in the Georgian part of the report. The US State Department’s report relies on the information provided by the Public Defender of Georgia and local CSOs. 

Human Rights Center is working on the cases of the Advocate Mdinaradze and the so-called cyanide case. The US State Department’s report reads that the court hearings had been postponed a number of times because the police officers called as witnesses did not show up in court.  On October 23, 2017  the Tbilisi City Court found the accused Lasha Kvirkvaia guilty of abuse of authority, and imposed 10,000 lari ($4,000) as a fine because of time served in pretrial detention. The Court found the former head of the Vake-Saburtalo district police unit guilty only in the abuse of power and acquitted him in the charge about violence. The Appellate Court upheld the decision of the city court, which was protested by Human Rights Center and noted in its statement that with that decision The decision of the Tbilisi Appeal Court with regard to Advocate Giorgi Mdinaradze’s case raises threats for the advocates and human rights defenders who arrive at the police units to carry out their duties, as they may become subjects of harassment from police officers.

In order to request effective investigation into the facts of abuse of power by police officers, Human Rights Center together with the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) published open letter to the state authority. The organizations called on the Ministry of Internal Affairs to ensure prompt and effective investigation into past incidents and ensure prompt and effective investigation into similar facts in future too.

The US State Department’s report reviews the so-called cyanide case, who had attracted particular public attention since 2017. The society still has not received answers to the legitimate questions and those violations, which were committed against the accused clergyman Giorgi Mamaladze. The Report states that the Public Defender’s Office and NGOs reported a violation of the presumption of innocence due to government officials’ (including the prime minister’s) statements on the case; inappropriate grounds to make the trial closed to the public; questionable evidence; and other violations that deprived the defendant and his lawyers of a chance for proper defense and a fair trial. In both instances of the court, proceedings were conducted beyond public control as trials were closed without any clarifications. The Court did not fulfill the recommendation of the Public Defender and solicitations of the advocates to close only those parts of the trials, where details of personal life were discussed.

Besides abovementioned cases, the US State Department reviewed other significant issues of the country, like the grave human rights state in the occupied territories of Georgia and frequent abduction of the citizens of Georgia alongside the ABL. The report pays particular attention to the case of Afgan Mukhtarli, media freedom, rights of convicts in penitentiary establishments and other significant issues. 

Human Rights Center

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