Hundreds of Lawyers on Streets
29 September, 2011
Hundreds of Lawyers on Streets

‘Soon there will be so many lawyers rallying that Saakashvili will start eating ties’

“The rights of lawyers are absolutely disregarded,” – this statement was made by Zaza Khatiashvili, Chair of the Lawyers’ Association, during the rally at the Supreme Court of Georgia.

Dozens of handcuffed lawyers took part in the action to express their position.
“During the reign of Communists, up to 80 lawyers were arrested in Georgia at various times. In comparison, the feudal regime of Saakashvili imprisoned over

`40 lawyers,” – lamented Khatiashvili. He added that the actions will continue till they achieve tangible results. He asserts that the Authorities owe apologies to the lawyers because of the terror campaign unleashed against them.
The rallying lawyers wore white t-shirts with bilingual Georgian-English slogan: “Protect lawyers from Saakashvili’s regime”. The rally participants were also waiving banners with texts such as “We demand fair courts”, “Stop persecution of lawyers”, “Freedom to Tariel Murmanishvili”, “Stop lawyer-hunt”. Representatives of several non-governmental organizations, including IDP Civil Movement, League for Doctors’ Rights and others, also joined the rally. Politicians were also there, among them - Lasha Chkhartishvili of Conservatives and Aleko Shalamberidze, formerly a member of the People’s Party.
The rally activists were saying that the case of Tariel Murmanishvili put a period to the tendency where lawyers are persecuted not only for the lost cases but also for the cases won by them.”
Tariel Murmanishvili was arrested after he won the case. His own client sued him claiming that Murmanishvili tricked him into signing the legal service agreement under which the client was supposed to pay the lawyer, i.e. Murmanishvili, half the amount sought by the client (specifically, it was 750 thousand Lari or a half of 1.5 million Lari). When Murmanishvili won the case for the client, the latter chose to sue him instead of reimbursing his legal service.
Zaza Khatiashvili says that rallies always make sense. He recalls that previous rallies of the lawyers brought certain results – they were evaluated at the EU and the Council of Europe.
“Today hundreds of lawyers took to the street. Our colleagues arrived from Georgian regions too, which means that all lawyers stand together. Our protest actions will expand even more and our colleagues will become more and more active in expressing solidarity. Soon there will be so many lawyers rallying that Saakashvili will start eating his ties. We will do our best to bring Sakashvili’s feudal regime to justice.
“During our previous actions we wrote to Jose Manuel Barosso, the President of the European Commission, demanding that the President Saakashvili be given the status of persona non-grata. We received the reply saying that our letter is being discussed. We hope that Saakashvili will become persona non-grata before the end of his Presidential term.”
“If we want the lawyers to be counted with and being spared of getting handcuffed by prosecutors and judges right in the court halls, we must induce them to use these very methods. Lawyers amount to more than 3500 persons, out of which at least one third should be rallying.”
“Conformists see only money in this business and hence they established conformist relations with judges and prosecutors, forgetting their professional obligations and ethical standards. Such lawyers allow the prosecutors to treat our colleagues as they wish,” – says Eka Beselia.


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