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Revolutionary Changes Made to the Criminal Code of Georgia

29.03.2005

Revolutionary Changes Made to the Criminal Code of Georgia

Tbilisi.28.03.05. Media News. The Parliament of Georgia has made revolutionary amendments to the Criminal Code of Georgia, according to statements from Chairwoman of Parliament Nino Burjanadze, Prosecutor General Zurab Adeishvili, the chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Legal Issues Levan Bejashvili and one of the amendment initiators, MP Nugzar Shashiashvili, at a press conference held on March 28.

The amendments made to the Criminal Code should improve the quality of the work of law enforcement bodies, especially in the protection of human rights. These amendments provide for the following: law enforcement bodies cannot arrest anybody without concrete evidence of guilt; the term of standing accused, from initial allegation to final court decision, is reduced from 24 to 12 months, the term of the preliminary detention from 9 to 4 months; and a defendant must confirm his testimony in court for it to be considered as evidence. According to the amendments, journalists will have the right to withhold information connected with their profession from an investigation. The changes in the Code also call for enhancing supervision over the prosecution during preliminary investigations.

Zurab Adeishvili believes that by these amendments, Georgia has finally rebuffed the old fashioned Soviet style Code of Criminal Procedures.

The Parliament of Georgia adopted the amendments to the Criminal Code during the third hearing last week. The new laws will come into effect after January 1 of 2006.

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