The authorities fail to respond to the sanctioning of judges and former chief prosecutor

The sanctions imposed by the U.S. on the Georgian judges, Mikheil Chinchaladze, Levan Murusidze, and Irakli Shengelia; a former judge, Valerian Tsertsvadze; and the former Chief Prosecutor, Otar Partskhaladze, have not been followed by effective steps on the part of the Georgian authorities. On the contrary, since the moment of sanctioning, the authorities have been actively defending the interests of those sanctioned, disregarding the legislation and trying to downplay the negative consequences caused by the sanctions by conducting anti-Western propaganda.

We believe that both cases of sanctioning took place for alarming reasons. The Georgian society has been talking about the existence of corruption and political interests in Georgia’s judicial system for many years. The sanctioning of judges by the U.S. State Department due to their involvement in corrupt activities is one more piece of important evidence in this regard. In addition, the public was aware of Otar Partskhaladze’s informal influences on Georga’s political and business circles. The lenient attitude of law enforcement agencies towards him was bewildering. For years, his name was associated with a number of criminal acts, although he was not held responsible in any of the cases. And in the statement released by the U.S. Treasury on September 14, the accusation of activities for the benefit of Russian special services was added to all this. The law enforcement agencies have not provided an effective response to this issue; moreover, they allowed Otar Partskhaladze to leave the country.

Not only is that the sanctions imposed by the U.S. were not followed by a response; the acting President of the National Bank of Georgia, Natia Turnava, tailored the rule of enforcement of sanctions to the former Chief Prosecutor accused of cooperation with Russian special services, which is one more concrete example of state capture manifested in action.

We think that the Georgian authorities are apparently protecting the persons sanctioned by the U.S. Naturally, such an approach causes further damage to the country’s reputation and to the trust of international partners towards the Georgian authorities.

We call on the Georgian authorities to stop protecting the interests of the sanctioned persons and distancing the country from the Western space by doing so, provide an adequate response, and take concrete steps to redress the damage caused to the country by the fact of sanctioning.

Signatory organizations:

  1. Transparency International Georgia (TI Georgia)
  2. Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association (GYLA)
  3. International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy (ISFED)
  4. Institute for Development of Freedom of Information (IDFI)
  5. Social Justice Center (SJC)
  6. Rights Georgia
  7. Human Rights Center (HRC)
  8. Open Society Georgia Foundation (OSGF)
  9. Georgian Court Watch
  10. Democracy Research Institute (DRI)
  11. Sapari
  12. Civic Idea
  13. Europe-Georgia Institute (EGI)
  14. Economic Policy Research Center (EPRC)
  15. Media Development Foundation (MDF)
  16. Society and Banks
  17. Green Alternative
  18. Equality Movement
  19. Tbilisi Pride
  20. GrlzWave
  21. Georgian Democracy Initiative (GDI)
  22. Atlantic Council of Georgia
  23. Democracy Defenders
  24. Franklin Club
  25. Georgia’s Future Academy
  26. Reforms and Research Group
  27. Chavchavadze Center
  28. Institute of Democracy
  29. Research Institute Gnomon Wise
  30. Civic Engagement and Activism Center (CEAC)
  31. Tsertili
  32. Promote Georgia
  33. Kvemo Kartli Media
  34. Association Deserving Old Age
  35. Civic Movement for Freedom
  36. Media and Communication Educational-Research Center “Media Voice”
  37. Child Welfare League
  38. Abkhazia news
  39. Generations Empowerment Network
  40. Women Fund “Sukhumi”
  41. May Movement
  42. Women’s Initiatives Supporting Group (WISG)
  43. GEUT
  44. Employment and Training Center
  45. Civic Movement Chiatura of the Future
  46. Komli
  47. Civic Activity Center – Lakmus
  48. Women’s Fund in Georgia (WFG)
  49. EuroClub Kvareli
  50. Democracy Index – Sakartvelo
  51. Association IDPs for IDPs

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