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HRC monitor not being allowed to attend the hearing of Irakli Okruashvili’s case

16.09.2020

On September 16, Lasha Chkhikvadze, the judge of the Tbilisi City Court, did not allow the HRC monitor to attend the hearing of the so-called “Buta Robakidze” case launched against Irakli Okruashvili, the leader of the Victorious Georgia party. 

Due to the spread of the novel coronavirus, the The High Council of Justice of Georgia once more released and affirmed the recommendations for the common courts. The recommendations concern limiting the number of people present at the court hearing, including the media, which, of course, does not entail closing the proceedings and completely restricting those wishing to attend. In contrast, Tbilisi City Court Judge Lasha Chkhikvadze completely limited the number of people present at the hearings, and in fact, closed the hearing. 
 
The Human Rights Center representative (the monitor) appealed to the judge to attend the court hearing, but as it became known by telephone communication with the assistant judge, despite the statement, the judge refused to allow the monitor to attend the trial.

This is not the first time that Human Rights Center monitors have been denied access to court hearings. Following the declaration of a state of emergency, the Center's monitors were not allowed to attend the trial of Irakli Okruashvili, the leader of the Victorious Georgia party, including the remote hearings. In connection with this vicious practice, the Center adressed  to the High Council of Justice.

The Human Rights Center considers that such action of the court is contrary to the current legislation, especially in the conditions when a state of emergency has not been declared. It also violates one of the most important elements of the right to a fair trial - the principle of publicity - and contradicts the recommendations developed by the High Council of Justice.

Human Rights Center

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