Expert opinion
HOW WAS THE NEW PROSECUTOR SELECTED?
14 November, 2013
Will the monster created by the previous powers disintegrate?

Last week Irakli Gharibashvili, candidate for the PM post, first named Otar Partskhaladze as the substitute for Chief Prosecutor, and then Alexander Chikaidze as the candidate for the post of Interior Minister. Why did the Chief Prosecutor leave his post? What do the cadre changes mean for us? Expert Kakha Kakhishvili shares his opinion:
K.K. – Kbilashvili was a decent person and good prosecutor, but he wasn’t a specialist of criminal
law; he hadn’t investigated even a single case. I think when he was assigned to the post of Chief Prosecutor he didn’t comprehend the role of prosecutor. He didn’t take the initiative in his hand in due time, didn’t make corresponding decisions, and exactly at that time his subordinates began “unauthorized activities.”
Heads of departments of the Prosecutor’s Office, regional and district prosecutors didn’t ask Kbilashvili anything. As a result, the Prosecutor’s Office during Kbilashvili’s time lost the function of supervision; this was especially stressed during the investigation of cases at the Interior Ministry and Finance Police. Actually the prosecutor lost his authority in these institutions. But it should also be noted that his term coincided with a very difficult period…
Q. – Gharibashvili named Otar Partskhaladze for the post of Chief Prosecutor. To your mind, for what qualities was he chosen?
A. – Gharibashvili isn’t well aware of the Prosecutor’s Office functions, either. Partskhaladze is a young man; I wish him success but I think the criterion for choosing him was that of friendship and closeness of relations.
Q. – He is the head of the Finance Ministry’s investigation department; investigation of many much-spoken-about cases is connected to him.
A. – Yes, there are open cases about Imedi TV, selling of the Rike area, as well as during Rasmussen’s visit - detention and then, after making apologies, setting free the Mayor-Office employees … that indeed discredited government. The decision about the Minaret dismantling is also connected with Otar Partskhaladze. He doesn’t seem to be totally unknown to people.
Q. – Do you think his candidacy wasn’t agreed on with Ivanishvili?
A. – I don’t think Ivanishvili chose the candidacy. Obviously he was told that Partskhaladze would be Chief Prosecutor and he didn’t interfere.
Q. – Partskhaladze’s nomination to this post was unexpected by the Minister of Justice as well. Tea Tsulukiani hopes that the Prosecutor’s Office will work better in the future. Does it mean that she wasn’t content with the former Chief Prosecutor?
A. – Hidden discontent was felt in her earlier declarations as well. Generally, the Chief Prosecutor’s presentation to the Minister of Justice is of a façade character – neither was Kbilashvili chosen by Tsulukiani, nor was she asked for her opinion about Partskhaladze. Today, with regard to its status, the Prosecutor’s Office is in a rather ambiguous situation...
Q. – But still, people expect restoration of justice, investigations and finishing of resonance cases. Do you think Partskhaladze will hush up these cases, or will he live up to people’s expectations?
A. - Time will show what he will hush up and what not. His first decisions will be very informative and important. He shouldn’t get carried away with populist steps, street or TV arrests. On the one hand, this may make people happy, but on the other … if the court is to produce the not guilty verdicts on the charges, they will again discredit the government. What’s more, cohabitation has already ended. For this reason, the Prosecutor’s Office has to do much work; it needs well-thought-over actions.
Q. – The candidate for the PM post named Alexander Chikaidze for the post of Interior Minister. What do you know about him?
A. – I only know that Alexander Chikaidze’s father once held a high post in the Ministry of Interior Affairs.
If anybody thinks that no reform is needed in the Interior Ministry, he is deeply mistaken. The fact that this office isn’t politicized is the merit of the Interior Minister’s will and not that of reform that is aimed at strengthening democratic institutions. But the Interior Minister and his mood can be changed, isn’t it so? We mustn’t allow the Office to become politicized, serve the interests of one party. Such important issues shouldn’t depend on somebody’s mood. We remember quite well Georgian Dream’s pre-election promise to separate the Interior and Security Ministries. I hope the monster created during the previous powers will disintegrate.
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