Vicious Circle in Georgian Judiciary System
07 April, 2011
Vicious Circle in Georgian Judiciary System

‘If the judge is not interested in documents, nobody needs the court’

Among “good” things lately offered by the Georgian court is its refusal to request and examine factual documents – such as video tapes – as evidence. Gela Nikolaishvili: The Georgian judiciary system serves base interests of opportunists lounging in the Government, not the interests of justice.

How many instances shall I n

ame? Take the recent case when they detained famous Georgian actor Gia Burjanadze and four other participants of a protest rally or when the veterans are sued for resisting police, even though in both instances there are tapes which tell different stories but which are not accepted by courts as evidence. The said people were accused of confronting police; it had been decreed by the court to be felonies only based on the words of policemen, disregarding all the witnesses and tapes that could speak otherwise. The tapes would show clearly that no one resisted the police and that the policemen lied in the court. The judges and the policemen – all of them know it very well but nevertheless they lied. If the court doubts genuineness of the tapes, what prevents it to conduct an expertise? If you do not look at the tape, you won’t know for sure whether the tape is helpful or not. It means that they made the decision in advance.
On the day when they dispelled the veterans’ rally, Russian authorities arrested Boris Nemtsov in Russia. The Russian court refused to accept and examine the relevant video records provided by Russian TV companies as evidence. When Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch spoke out that such actions are direct indications that court is biased and unfair, Russian court of appeal did examine the records and attached them as evidence to the case file. They paid due attention to the remarks of international organizations. Meanwhile, our court does not heed the calls of the international organizations.
They prohibited us - lawyers –not only collecting evidence but even requesting a permission from the court to collect such evidence. If we decide to obtain a video recording, an organization in question says a court order is required for that; however, the court points to the law and the vicious circle is closed up.
Ernest Isaakovich, Russia human rights activist: I happened to attend a court hearing in Georgia. I was flabbergasted. The judge refused to accept the documents proving innocence of indicted person! The poor person was saying to the judge: ‘Here is the evidence – a video tape, audio material, documents, testimonies - that I am innocent…Please, watch the tape! In reply, the judge said he did not need any!
If a judge does not care for the documents, who needs the court? Every official in Georgia resembles the other. Courts do not exist either in Russia or in Georgia.



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