Analysis

March 2013

Summary: In October 2012, Georgians elected a new government. The leader of the newly formed opposition coalition, Georgian Dream (GD), Bizina Ivanishvili, was elected Georgia’s prime minister. GD formed a new Cabinet of Ministers, while President Mikheil Saakashvili remains in office until the presidential elections this October. Upon assuming office, new law enforcement officials announced the intention to prosecute officials of the Saakashvili government for human rights abuses committed while in office. This crackdown has not gone unnoticed by the international community. Is the new Georgian government purging members of the previous government for political reasons, or are these measures needed? Now that the first 100 days have passed since the transfer of power in Georgia, the actions of the new Ivanishvili government can be viewed with some degree of perspective. This is the time to reassess Ivanishvili’s efforts to reform the law and justice system in Georgia.

Justice or Injustice in Georgia? The First 100 Days after the Power Transfer
by Anna Dolidze
Introduction On October 1, 2012, parliamentary elections brought a new political reality to Georgia. The newly formed opposition coalition, Georgian Dream (GD), won 85 out of 150 seats in the parliament, while the ruling party, National Movement, received 75 seats. President Mikheil Saakashvili, elected in 2004, conceded his party’s defeat. Ministers offered their resignations.1 The leader of GD, Bizina Ivanishvili, a billionaire and a philanthropist, was elected as Georgia’s prime minister. GD formed a new Cabinet of Ministers, while President Saakashvili remains in office until the next presidential elections, to be held in October of this year. Therefore, for the first time in its history, Georgia has entered a new phase of its constitutional governance: “cohabitation.” Upon assuming office, new law enforcement officials announced the intention to prosecute officials of the Saakashvili government for human rights abuses committed while in office. Subsequently, a number of former public officials, including the former minister of prisons and his
1 Ellen Barry, Georgia’s President Concedes Defeat in Parliamentary Election, New York Times, Oct. 2, 2012 [date accessed Feb. 3, 2013] http://www.nytimes. com/2012/10/03/world/europe/georgia-election-results. html

deputies, were arrested.2 Other officials have been declared wanted through Interpol’s Red Notice. This crackdown has not gone unnoticed by the international community. The initial wave of arrests caused concern in a number of media and international institutions. For instance, on November 12, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said he was “extremely concerned” about the arrests.3 A Washington Post editorial titled “Georgia’s Government Takes a Wrong Turn” condemned these arrests, arguing the government is “imprisoning opposition leaders” and seeking to monopolize power.4 Is this criticism warranted? Is the new Georgian government purging members of the previous government for political reasons, or are these measures needed? Now that the first 100 days have passed since the transfer of power in Georgia, the actions of the new Ivanishvili
2 Prosecutors Add Torture Charges Against Akhalaia, Civil Georgia, Nov. 13, 20120 [date accessed Jan. 13, 2013] http://www.civil.ge/eng/article.php?id=25445 3 NATO Chief “Extremely Concerned over Arrests of Political Opponents,” Civil Georgia, Nov. 12, 2012, [date accessed Dec. 21, 2013] http://www.civil.ge/eng/article. php?id=25443 4 Editorial Board, Georgia’s Government Take a Wrong Turn, Nov. 12, 2012, [date accessed Dec. 13, 2012] http://articles.washingtonpost.com/2012-11-27/opinions/35508119_1_new-government-opposition-leadersbidzina-ivanishvili

Analysis
government can be viewed with some degree of perspective. This is the time to reassess Ivanishvili’s efforts to reform the law and justice system in Georgia. Ivanishvili’s Challenge GD’s choices are conditioned by a number of factors, and steps taken by the coalition in attempting to establish transitional justice in Georgia have to be assessed in light of these circumstances. First, GD leadership is facing a number of public demands for justice in relation to the deeds committed by members of the Saakashvili government. These demands center mainly around claims for accountability of former public officials for torture and inhumane and degrading treatment, political imprisonment, corruption, and illegal appropriation of property. A recent opinion poll conducted by Georgian Channel Info 9 among 1,978 respondents across Georgia shows that 88 percent of those polled support prosecution of former government officials who engaged in illegal surveillance and wiretapping.5 On February 3, 2013, a group of Georgian human rights NGOs, including the Center for Rehabilitation of Victims of Torture and Article 42, demanded that new law enforcement officials “take concrete and active steps to investigate and reveal torture and inhuman and degrading treatment within prisons.”6 Moreover, Attorney General Archil Kbilashvili mentioned at a recent press conference that during last three months, the Attorney General’s Office received approximately 18,000 written complaints alleging abuses committed by the former government officials.7 Second, the Georgian Dream-led government is being asked to reintroduce justice to the law enforcement system that it inherited from the Saakashvili government. The legacy of the Saakashvili government includes a politicized judiciary that was strictly subordinate to the influence of the executive. Contrary to the Saakashvili’s government’s claims of moving to an adversarial legal system with equality of parties, statistical data shows that court trials in recent years have been dominated by and adjudicated in favor of

Statistical data shows that court trials in recent years have been dominated by and adjudicated in favor of the state.
the state. For instance, in 2009, 99 percent of criminal cases brought to court ended with a conviction.8 Third, Georgia’s law enforcement and judicial apparatus does not have readily available capacity to deal with the large number of grievances that are being advanced against the practices of the previous government. State agencies are facing the task of continuing their daily work in addition to investigating hundreds of complaints now voiced against the officials of the previous government. Fourth, the GD’s task is greatly complicated by the fact that the party does not possess full leverages for governing the country. Unlike the situation in South Africa, where the African National Congress possessed full capability to govern the country after the 1994 elections, GD is ruling the country only partially. National Movement leadership remains represented in political decision-making. President Saakashvili continues to hold strong powers, including the power to appoint and dismiss the Secretary of the National Security Council and Georgia’s ambassadors, as well as disband the parliament and the Cabinet of Ministers. The mayor of the country’s capital, Tbilisi, is a leader of the National Movement. The power balance will shift in favor of the prime minister only when the constitutional amendments enter into force after presidential elections in October 2013.9 Therefore, GD’s challenge to adequately deal with the past is exacerbated by the fact that the boundaries of the power-sharing agreement between the president and the government will be continuously tested.

5 gamokiTxulTa umravlesoba yofili Cinosnebis dasjis momxrea (The majority of polled favor punishment of former officials), INFO 9, Nov. 24, 2012 [date accessed Jan. 8, 2013] http://info9.ge/?l=G&m=1000&id=10033 6 NGOs’ Address to Victimized Prisoners Families and Members of Their Families, Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association, [date accessed Feb. 4, 2013] http://gyla.ge/eng/ news?info=1432 7

8 Transparency International, Plea Bargaining in Georgia: Negotiated Justice, Dec. 15, 2010, p.12 [date accessed Feb. 4, 2013] http://transparency.ge/sites/default/files/ post_attachments/Plea%20Bargaining%20in%20Georgia%20-%20Negotiated%20 Justice.pdf 9 Anna Dolidze, Analysis of October Amendments to the Constitution of Georgia, ConstitutionMaking.org, Nov. 27, 2010 [date accessed Feb. 6, 2013] http://www.comparativeconstitutions.org/2010/11/analysis-of-october-october-amendments.html

Press Conference by Archil Kbilashvili, February 5, 2013

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Analysis
Fifth, the methods with which Georgia will deal with the crimes committed by its previous leadership will have an impact not just domestically. In a region that is dominated by authoritarian governments, choices made in Georgia are carefully monitored and observed by the country’s neighbors. Lessons learned from Georgia might inform choices regarding the potential transfer of power by other governments in the region. Judging the Transition so Far So far a number of preliminary observations on the Ivanishvili government’s handling of the justice process can be made. First, it has to be pointed out that the picture of human rights abuses conducted by Saakashvili’s law enforcement has turned out to be much grimmer than originally suspected by the opposition. Although the government had a relatively positive reputation in the West for some of the reforms conducted under Saakashvili’s leadership, it was by no means a secret that the government engaged in human rights abuses. For instance, the European Court of Human Rights in its judgment in the Girgvliani case, one of the most high profile murder cases in Georgia’s recent history, noted “... the Court is struck by how the different branches of State power — the Ministry of the Interior, as regards the initial shortcomings of the investigation, the Public Prosecutor’s Office, as regards the remaining omissions of the investigation, the Prisons Department, as regards the unlawful placement of the convicts in the same cell, the domestic courts, as regards the deficient trial and the convicts’ early release, the President of Georgia, as regards the unreasonable leniency towards the convicts, and so on — all acted in concert in preventing justice from being done in this gruesome homicide case.”10 Even Saakashvili himself publicly acknowledged that the Girgvliani case was “a black stain.”11
10 Case of Enukidze and Girgvliani v. Georgia, the European Court of Human Rights, Apr. 26, 2011, para. 276, [date accessed Feb. 6, 2013] http://hudoc.echr.coe.int/sites/eng/ pages/search.aspx?i=001-104636#{“itemid”:[“001-104636”]} 11

It has to be pointed out that the picture of human rights abuses conducted by Saakashvili’s law enforcement has turned out to be much grimmer than originally suspected by the opposition.
Reports by international human rights organizations and Georgian human rights watchdogs during the last seven years show that Georgian citizens have been subjected to grave human rights practices, including harassment, arbitrary expropriation of property, and political imprisonment. A video, leaked a number of days prior to the October 1 elections, depicted heinous crimes of torture committed in Georgian Prison #8. The report prepared by the Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association in relation to the violent dispersal of a May 26, 2012, demonstration describes police actions specifically in relation to the media, “Acts of physical and verbal abuse against journalists, as well as the deliberate use of rubber bullets against them, which in some cases equaled a certain extent of ill-treatment occurred on May 26. Ill treatment was caused by beatings or the firing of rubber bullets at journalists in a deliberate manner.”12 As the weight of authoritarianism has been lifted, information about abusive practices conducted by the government — much of which portrays a gruesome picture — has become public. Among practices, which have been documented by witness statements and video footage, are systematic and inhuman degrading treatment in prisons; extreme and comprehensive surveillance of government critics; blackmail; abduction; kidnapping; extortion; intimidation; and pressure on witnesses, defendants, and activists. For instance, through witness testimonies and the discovery of recorded video material, the Attorney General’s Office revealed that the Georgian secret service had been engaged in the blackmail and extortion of homosexuals, torture and killing of prison inmates, and widespread surveillance and
12 Mari Nikuradze, A Catalogue of Brutality, Democracy & Freedom Watch, Dec. 24, 2011 [date accessed Jan. 12, 2013] http://dfwatch.net/a-catalogue-of-brutality-33770

Saakashvili: Girgvliani Case a “Black Stain,” Democracy & Freedom Watch, Feb. 9, 2013 [date accessed Feb. 11, 2013] http://dfwatch.net/saakashvili-girgvliani-case-ablack-stain-17120

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Analysis
eavesdropping.13 One of the former owners of a telecommunications company even described the pressure exerted on Georgian telecommunications companies to take part in illegal wiretapping.14 Former arm-wrestling champion Zaur Tskhadaze, who was recently released from prison under the newly adopted amnesty law, recalls the abominable conditions in the detention center: “I spent 19 days in quarantine without food. There were 36 of us in an 18 square meter cell, with one toilet. There was no fresh air. We were lucky if the cell’s iron door was left a bit ajar. We stood on our feet as there was no room to sit. The best way out was if you slept squatted. Imagine a damp basement, awful cold, no chair, no bed. If I fell asleep, I would freeze. They tortured me for five days. What else can be said when they didn’t even give us toilet paper….”15 Second, Georgia’s judiciary has so far expressed relative leniency in relation to the defendants associated with the Saakashvili government. The majority of former highranking government officials who have been detained have been ordered to deposit bail and await trials outside preliminary detention. For instance, recently the Tbilisi City Court ordered Guram Donadze, one of the main defendants in the high profile case of extrajudicial killing of Buta Robakidze, to deposit bail of $15,000.16 Bail was ordered for a large number of other arrested officials, including six highranking officials associated with a case of large-scale embezzlement and corruption17 as well as the former Minister of Defense Irakli Okruashvili.18 Under Saakashvili, pretrial detention was a norm. For example, in 2009, the attorney
13 Interior Minister Found His Own Phone Had Been Trapped, Democracy & Freedom Watch, Feb. 6, 2013, [date accessed Jan. 12, 2013] http://dfwatch.net/interior-ministerfound-his-own-phone-had-been-tapped-68937 14 Telecom Investor Offers More Details About Eavesdropping, Democracy & Freedom Watch, Nov. 2, 2012 [date accessed Dec. 15, 2012] http://dfwatch.net/telecom-investoroffers-more-details-about-eavesdropping-36206 15 Legendary Arm Wrestler Under Inhuman Condition in Jail, Georgian News TV, Feb. 14, 2013 [date accessed Feb. 20, 2013] http://www.georgianews.ge/politics/22240legendary-arm-wrestler-under-inhuman-condition-in-jail.html

Georgia’s judiciary has so far expressed relative leniency in relation to the defendants associated with the Saakashvili government.
general requested pre-trial detention in 8,713 cases. The courts agreed with 8,198, or 94 percent of requests.19 Third, in response to the criticism about the political nature of arrests, the Georgian Ministry of Justice proposed to allow jury trials in all cases where there is a high degree of public interest.20 Allowing so-called political trials to be judged by a jury of one’s peers is a generally accepted form of jury participation. Moreover, if conducted properly, jury participation in trials will allow for public access to the proceedings and will remove the suspicion of court bias in these cases. This step would also be a departure from the earlier practice. In its recent history, Georgia allowed jury trials by a Constitutional amendment in 2004; however, in practice, jury participation was only allowed in limited cases. The amendments to the Criminal Procedural Code of Georgia (CPCG) on jury trials were adopted on September 24, 2010, and initially allowed for the trial by jury only in cases involving murder under aggravating circumstances. Fourth, another positive development is a new initiative aimed at making trials more public. Through amendments passed in 2007, the Parliament severely restricted public and media access to trials. Photo, video, and film recording of trials were prohibited. The judges were authorized to ban audio recording and transcriptions as well.21 Brief press statements by the courts themselves became the main source for public information about court proceedings. Now the Ministry of Justice has proposed amendments,
19 dausabuTebeli winaswari patimroba (Unsubstantiated Pretrial Detention), Netgazeti. ge, Dec. 16, 2010 [date accessed Dec. 23, 2012] http://www.netgazeti.ge/GE/38/ law/3731/ 20

New Details in Robakidze Murder Case, Democracy & Freedom Watch, Feb. 10, 2013 [date accessed Feb. 15] http://dfwatch.net/new-details-in-robakidze-murder-case-35295
16 17 Six Released on Bail in Corruption Ring Case, Democracy & Freedom Watch, Dec. 23, 2012, [date accessed Jan. 6, 2013] http://dfwatch.net/six-released-on-bail-in-corruptionring-case-66605 18 Okruashvili Free on Bail, Democracy & Freedom Watch, Jan. 11, 2013 [date accessed Jan. 20, 2013] http://dfwatch.net/okruashvili-free-on-bail-28114

yofili maRalCinosnebi nafic msajulTa pirispir (Former Public Officials Face Jury Trials), Liberali, Feb. 8, 2013 [date accessed Feb. 14, 2013] http://www.liberali.ge/ge/liberali/ articles/113611/

21

sasamarTlo sxdomebis sajarooba SeizRuda (Publicity of Trials Restricted), Jul. 11, 2007 [date accessed Feb. 20, 2013] http://www.civil.ge/geo/article.php?id=15686

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Analysis
according to which Georgian Public Broadcasting would be allowed to videotape court proceedings.22 The prime minister even proposed inviting foreign experts to monitor some high profile trials, and the Organization for Security and Cooperation of Europe has already announced that will be involved in observing the trial of former Minister of Defense Bacho Akhalaia. A final positive aspect is a newfound relative openness on behalf of public officials to engage with the media and inform the public regarding the developments in law enforcement. The minister of justice, attorney general, and minister of interior now take part in weekly briefings and political talk shows, reporting on developments. This degree of and engagement with the public is remarkable, considering that Georgian law enforcement agencies, led by the attorney general’s office, were the country’s least publicly accessible institutions prior to the transfer of power. The Difficult Road Ahead There are still several specific areas where the Georgian government needs to be proactive. First, the government needs to make the issue of the rehabilitation of the victims of torture and abuse a priority. So far, this question has been overlooked. Only with adequate support, including physical and mental health care and rehabilitation and reintegration programs, will these individuals be able to overcome the severe marks of the abuse they suffered. Georgian psychologist Jana Javakhishvili has repeatedly noted the need for comprehensive programs for rehabilitation from trauma.23 Georgian civil society organizations also noted that this issue should be a government priority. “As far as we are aware, the Georgian government has not taken steps for immediate psychological assistance and rehabilitation of victims. This is unacceptable,” noted a statement issued by leading Georgian NGOs on September 24, 2012.24 Similarly, on February 20, 2013, a group of Georgian civil society organizations, including the Georgian Young Lawyer’s Asso22 SesaZloa Jurnalistebs sasamarTlos sxdomebis gaWuqebis ufleba miscen (Journalists Might be Permitted to Report about Trials), Tanamgzavri TV, Nov. 9, 2012 [date accessed Jan 16, 2013] http://www.tanamgzavri.tv/index.php?option=com_ content&view=article&id=679:2012-11-10-15-02-54&catid=12:2011-11-20-20-5622&Itemid=16 23 Nino Japiashvili, nulovani mentaloba (Zero Mentality), Dec. 10, 2012, Tskheli Shokoladi, [date accessed Jan. 15, 2013] http://shokoladi.ge/content/nulovani-mentaloba 24

A positive aspect is a newfound relative openness on behalf of public officials to engage with the media and inform the public regarding the developments in law enforcement.
ciation and Penal Reform International, urged the victims of torture and their family members to take more active steps “for the vindication of their rights and dignity.”25 The prosecution of a number of individuals personally implicated in committing crimes is not an remedy for the current scale of inflicted grievances. The Georgian state should think of more comprehensive measures, including issuing a public apology, a compensation scheme, and/ or a truth and reconciliation process to heal the wounds inflicted by human rights abuses. A Georgian truth and reconciliation process would certainly not be without precedent. Georgia’s law on the recognition of victims of Soviet Repression adopted in 1997 provides for a compensation scheme for those that suffered under the communist regime from 1920-1991; a separate compensation regime exists for those who suffered persecution as a result of the military coup in 1991-1992. In December 2003, the leaders of the Rose Revolution, including Saakashvili himself, put in place a special process of reconciliation and pardon for so-called Zviadists, proponents of Georgia’s first president. A separate piece of legislation, namely the law on Repatriation of Individuals Deported from the Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic in the 1940s, tackles the issue of restitution for the members of the groups who were deported from Georgia under Stalin. The grievances of individuals who suffered torture, physical abuse, and grave psychological traumas under the Saakashvili regime should be similarly acknowledged through a variety of measures.
25 NGOs’ Address to Victimized Prisoners Families and Members of Their Families, Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association, [date accessed Feb. 4, 2013] http://gyla.ge/eng/ news?info=1432

arasamTavrobo organizaciebis gancxadeba wamebis da araadamianuri mopyrobis faqtebtan dakavSirebiT (Statement of Georgian Non-Governmental Organizations Regarding Torture and Inhuman Treatment), Sep. 24, 2012, Liberali [date accessed Jan. 10, 2013] http://www.liberali.ge/ge/liberali/news/112603/

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Analysis
It has to be noted that the Georgian government already conducted a number of steps aimed at alleviating the situation of individuals whose rights were infringed during 2004-2012. Recently, parliament enacted a law that recognized 215 persons as “political prisoners and exiles,” including individuals who served sentences in relation to the peaceful participation in opposition demonstrations.26 However, as the most recent public protest by aggravated individuals in front of the Public Library in Tbilisi indicates, these measures have not been enough to satisfy the public. Human Rights Watch recently recommended establishing a specialized agency tasked with identifying past cases where human rights violations occurred and recommending them for retrial.27 In any event, there is rich historical experience of countries that have gone down similar paths. If the political will is present, there is an abundance of possible policy options. One particular area in which the experiences of other postauthoritarian states can be instructive is the fate of the vast amounts of documentary and video material recovered from illegal surveillance under the National Movementled Ministry of Interior. In times of transition, when the risk of public dissemination of potentially traumatizing personal information is incredibly high due to a regulatory vacuum, Georgian authorities and civil society should focus on creating specific policies and institutional mechanisms aimed at guarantying the protection of privacy. The challenges related to the danger of public dissemination of sensitive private data are manifold. First, are Georgian law enforcement who came to power after the October 1 elections, as well as former officials have access to mass video and audio recordings that have been illegally obtained. Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty Journalist Koba Liklikadze writes about the pervasiveness of cybercrime in Georgia and the participation of the Saakashvili era state security structures in intentionally obtaining private data.28 The Attorney General’s office reported discovering in the police possession clandestine video recordings of homosexual activity used to blackmail the individuals
26 Parliament Recognizes 215 Persons as “Political Prisoners and Exiles,” Civil.ge, Dec. 5, 2012, [date accessed Feb. 22, 2013] http://civil.ge/eng/article.php?id=25519 27 Human Rights Watch to Georgia Government: Make Rights a Priority, Civil. ge, Feb. 1, 2013, [date accessed Feb. 20, 2013] http://www.civil.ge/eng/article.php?id=25703 28 Koba Liklikadze, saqarTvelo kibermekobreobis flagmania (Georgia is a Leader in Cybercrime), RFE/RL, Feb. 17, 2013 http://www.radiotavisupleba.ge/content/militaryprogramm-cyber-crime/24904485.html

Georgian authorities and civil society should focus on creating specific policies and institutional mechanisms aimed at guarantying the protection of privacy.
into cooperation with the Saakashvili regime.29 One of the orchestrators of the Georgian state surveillance system under Saakashvili, former Deputy Minister of Interior Shota Khizanishvili, was recently released on bail and returned to his previous post as Tbilisi’s vice mayor. The Georgian government has to take extra precautionary measures in order to avoid repeated infliction of trauma to victims of surveillance and their relatives. According to Georgian law, illegal evidence is subject to destruction. The Minister of Interior has publicly pledged that such materials will be destroyed. However, the sensitivity of the material and its damaging potential has contributed to public alarm. Moreover, the history of Georgia’s law enforcement, with its continuous engagement in human rights abuses, contributes to the public’s distrust. Creating a public oversight body, to which Georgian law enforcement would regularly report about the destruction of illegal evidence, is one possibility to alleviate public anxiety. Second, Georgian law enforcement should stop the practice of publicly disseminating evidence, including video and audio evidence, prior to court hearings. The practice, established during the Saakashvili government, consists of distributing excerpts from evidence through the media that corroborate the guilt of specific defendants. The practice aims to influence public opinion so that the accused is convicted through the court of public opinion prior to being judged by the court of law. The Georgian Ministry of Interior frequently engaged in the practice, especially in high profile cases and in sentences involving political opponents. For instance, excerpts from telephone conversations were aired on TV soon after two famous wrestlers were
29 Georgia’s Gay Rights Activists Protest Broadcast of Sex Tapes, GlobalVoices English, Jan. 17, 2013 [date accessed Jan. 20, 2013] http://globalvoicesonline.org/2013/01/17/ georgias-gay-rights-activists-protest-broadcast-of-secret-sex-tapes/

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Analysis
arrested for extortion in June 2005. Similarly, the excerpts from clandestinely recorded conversations were aired in relation to the arrest of Georgian soccer player and member of the national soccer team, Giorgi Demetradze, in 2010.30 On September 25, 2012, just a couple of days prior to the elections, the Georgian Attorney General’s Office released silent video footage obtained through French colleagues, allegedly depicting opposition activist Goga Khaindrava’s meeting with criminal authorities.31 France’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs clarified in a public statement that it never authorized the public dissemination of materials connected to the criminal investigation.32 Moreover, the Ministry underlined, that “…in a sensitive pre-election context…the use of any case materials pending investigation can affect proper conduct of elections. France calls once again on the Georgian authorities to spare no efforts in holding elections peacefully.”33 Unfortunately, on a number of occasions, GD-led law enforcement has resorted to the same tactic. The Attorney General’s Office has on a number of occasions disseminated testimonies and video/audio recording excerpts related to individual criminal cases. For example, on January 10, 2013, the Office displayed testimony of Alexander Kavtaradze on its website, who alleged that he had been beaten by a policeman.34 More importantly, on December 21, 2012, the Attorney General’s office published five video testimonies related to the case of torture and inhuman and degrading treatment depicted in the September 18 video of torture in Gldani Prison #8.35 This practice impedes impartial judicial hearings in these cases, violates the rights of the implicated persons to
30 dakavebulia cnobili fexburTeli giorgi demetraZe (Well-known Soccer Player Giorgi Demetradze Arrested), Onlinenews.ge, Jul. 8, 2010 http://www.onlinenews.ge/index. php?id=101&lang=geo 31 safrangeTi goga xaindravasa da qurdebis Sesaxeb (France Comments About Khaindrava and Criminal Authorities) Sep. 25, 2012, RFE/RL [date accessed Jan. 11, 2013] (http://www.radiotavisupleba.ge/content/goga-khaindrava/24719297.html 32 Géorgie - Divulgation d’informations relevant du secret de l’instruction en France (Georgia- Information Relevant to Secret Investigation is Revealed) Sep. 25, 2012, France Diplomatie, [date accessed Jan. 11, 2013] http://www.diplomatie.gouv.fr/fr/pays-zonesgeo/georgie/la-france-et-la-georgie/evenements-21285/article/georgie-divulgation-dinformations 33 34

The Attorney General’s Office has on a number of occasions disseminated testimonies and video/audio recording excerpts related to individual criminal cases.
contest the evidence and can potentially traumatize individuals, including the victims, defendants, witnesses, and third parties, implicated in them. Therefore, Georgian law enforcement under the new leadership should discontinue this practice once and for all. Conclusion Yet, it is important not to throw out the baby with the bathwater in this process. In 2004, when Saakashvili came to power, he inherited a country characterized by pervasive corruption, rampant unemployment, and deteriorating infrastructure. The country was still grappling with the consequences of having experienced two secessionist conflicts — in Abkhazia and South Ossetia. According to United Nations Human Development Index, which measures health, education, longevity, and other important development factors, Georgia occupied 87th place in the world in 2003. In the first nine months after the Revolution, the Saakashvili-led government made considerable progress. The government established effective control over Adjara, an autonomous republic previously run by a local autocratic leader. Saakashvili and his government took strong steps against corruption at all levels of Georgian government and streamlined the administrative apparatus. Enhanced budgetary revenues, facilitated by the efficiency of tax administration as well as income from a rapid privatization program, was one of the government’s initial accomplishments. Saakashvili’s administration did succeed in strengthening the technical institutions related to the administration of justice, such as streamlining the civil service, technically

Ibid.

saqarTvelos mTavari prokuroris gancxadeba (Statement of the Chief Prosecutor of Georgia), Chief Prosecutor’s Office of Georgia, Jan. 10, 2013 [date accessed Jan. 5, 2013] http://www.justice.gov.ge/index.php?lang_id=GEO&sec_id=106&info_id=5026
35 saqarTvelos mTavari prokuroris gancxadeba (Statement of the Chief Prosecutor of Georgia), Chief Prosecutor’s Office of Georgia, Dec. 21, 2012 [date accessed Jan. 5, 2013] http://www.justice.gov.ge/index.php?lang_id=GEO&sec_id=106&info_id=5003

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Analysis
equipping the judiciary, and fundamentally restructuring the Attorney General’s Office. Police reform became a priority. Georgia’s newly transformed traffic police, fully rejuvenated and equipped with the state of the art resources, stands out as an example of effective transformation. However, in the quest for state building and Westernization, what the University of Toronto criminologist Gavin Slade calls “governing through crime”36 became the government’s main policy for dealing with challenges of economic development. In the virtual absence of institutions capable of overseeing the executive and making it accountable, including the weakened and National Movement-dominated Parliament and the judiciary, the policy resulted in a pervasive and abusive justice and law enforcement system. Yet the technical achievements of Saakashvili’s administration have to be maintained. GD’s challenge going forward will be to make sure that legal reforms serve not just the interests of one particular political force as they did under Saakashvili. Legal reform should aim to serve the purposes of equitable economic development and social progress. The most recent opinion polls conducted by the National Democratic Institute in Georgia before and after the October 1, 2012, Parliamentary elections show what concerns ordinary Georgians most: economic welfare. Jobs and affordable healthcare have been the two most important issues on the minds of the majority of the country’s residents.37 Yet while Georgia’s political elite and allies abroad look for ways to boost economic growth and increase wellbeing in the country, they must not overlook some of the more difficult and often unpleasant issues relating to the rule of law in Georgia. Going forward, we must all keep a watchful eye to make sure that the missteps that were long ignored during Saakashvili’s time in power are not repeated.
36 Gavin Slade, Georgia: Politics of Punishment, Open Democracy, Sep. 30, 2012 [date accessed Jan. 12, 2013] http://www.opendemocracy.net/gavin-slade/georgia-politics-ofpunishment

About the Author
Dr. Anna Dolidze is an assistant professor of law at Western University, where she is also a visiting scholar at the Center for Transitional Justice and Post Conflict Reconstruction. Dolidze is a Joachim Herz fellow at the Transatlantic Academy of the German Marshall Fund. She has worked with a number of international organizations including Human Rights Watch, the Russian Justice Initiative, and Save the Children. Dolidze was the president of the Georgian Young Lawyers Association, one of the largest legal advocacy organizations in Georgia. She has served on a number of public bodies including the civic supervisory board of the Millennium Challenge Georgia Fund and the committee for monitoring human rights in the penitentiary. The views expressed here are of the author’s own, and they no way represent the official position of the Transatlantic Academy, Joachim Herz Stiftung, or the German Marshall Fund.

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About the Transatlantic Academy
The Transatlantic Academy is a research institution devoted to creating common approaches to the long-term challenges facing Europe and North America. The Academy does this by each year bringing together scholars, policy experts, and authors from both sides of the Atlantic and from different disciplinary perspectives to research and analyze a distinct policy theme of transatlantic interest. The Academy was created in 2007 as a partnership between the German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF) and the ZEIT-Stiftung Ebelin und Gerd Bucerius. The Robert Bosch Stiftung and the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation joined as full partners beginning in 2008, and the Fritz Thyssen Foundation joined as a full partner in 2011. The Compagnia di San Paolo joined in providing additional support in May 2009, as did the Joachim Herz Stiftung and the Volkswagen Stifung in 2011. The Transatlantic Academy’s Joachim Herz Stiftung Fellowship is made possible with generous support from the Joachim Herz Stiftung.

Public Attitudes in Georgia: Results of a November 2012 Survey Carried out for NDI by CRRC, National Democratic Institute, [date accessed Jan. 20, 2013] http://www.ndi.org/ files/Georgia-Nov-2012-Survey-ENG.pdf
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