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Legal analysis of the criminal cases commenced in connection with the June 20-21, 2019 events


Human Rights Center prepared the legal analysis of the criminal cases commenced in connection with the June 20-21, 2019 events. 

The document aims to legally assess the facts of the criminal proceedings commenced after the June 20-21 events and the criminal cases against different individuals through the analysis of the international practice and the Georgian context.

The analytic document unites legal analysis of the criminal cases launched against the leaders of the political parties – Irakli Okruashvili and Nikanor Melia, also against the civil activists and participants of the protest demonstrations: Giorgi Rurua, Giorgi Javakhishvili, Tornike Datashvili, Besik Tamliani, Zurab Budagashvili, Kakhaber Kupreishvili, Tsotne Soselia, Moris Machalikashvili and Bezhan Lortkipanidze.

The below survey was carried based on the analysis of trial monitoring reports of the HRC monitors, of the identified problematic material and procedural-legal issues, of the information collected through the interviews with the defendants/convicted people and their lawyers, findings from various documents and survey reports. 

The problematic issues identified in the criminal cases commenced in relation with the June 20-21 events are evaluated in accordance with the standards and requirements of the national and international laws and the European Court of Human Rights. 

In the course of the survey, the indictments, motions of the defense and prosecution sides, court rulings, interim decisions, rulings, Amicus Curiae sent by the Public Defender of Georgia to the common courts and the Constitutional Court of Georgia, reports/conclusions of the Venice Commission, and the criteria on the political prisoners elaborated by the Council of Europe and international organization Amnesty International were analyzed. 

Grave human rights violations, violations committed by police officers and practice of the criminal prosecution commenced in relation with the June 20-21 events raise many questions over the selective justice of the state towards concrete individuals, purposeful commencement of the criminal cases that instead elimination of the systemic miscarriages turned into the punishment and imprisonment of the protesters. 

The State often demonstrated different approach to similar cases, without reasonable and impartial grounds, that was demonstrated into the commencement of the criminal prosecution against the protesters who were sent to prison; above that, the court used the pre-trial imprisonment against all accused protesters based on banal, abstract and often identical solicitations of the prosecutors. In the end, the court passes guilty verdicts or plea agreements are signed with the defendants based on their confession to the crime. The case analysis revealed that the investigation often had the only goal – to use imprisonment as a measure of constraint. 

By ignoring the positive and negative obligations of the state, the freedom of expression, right to be protected from ill-treatment and right to fair trial, which are guaranteed by the Constitution of Georgia and the international human rights conventions were allegedly violated in the analyzed criminal cases. 

Human Rights Center monitors the criminal cases commenced in relation with the June 20-21 events in the frame of the project “Public Events Monitoring.” Currently, HRC monitors trials into 17 criminal cases in the common courts, where alleged political motives are identified. The project is implemented with the financial support of the National Endowment for Democracy. 

Human Rights Center 

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