The “Geworld” has interviewed Mindia Ugrekheludze – a noble lawyer and a former judge of the European Court gave the interview to “Geworls” about the legislation-related processes, changes in the Constitution, and the latest developments
– Mr. Mindia, a process of restoration of the justice being starting since October 1st, caused a certain disappointment of a part of our citizens. Today, they say that the justice fails to perform fully its function. What do you think, what has been done during this period and what about the situation after elapsing twelve months from the day of substitution of the state power?
– First of all it should be noted that a feeling of disappointment is spread over the society, a reason of which is non-fulfillment of those promise everybody expected from the new power and, which, unfortunately, has not been achieved. Generally, there are so many reasons for this disappointment that it seems to be impossible to speak about all of them in details, in one interview. I even do not know whether the society is interested in them, but nevertheless, I’d like to count some
The main problem is that in conditions of the undivided governance there was no need in those organs, which are known as justice and investigation. Who wants to have professional staff where wish of on individual should be performed unconditionally?! Today for instance, just up to ten investigators are in Georgia, a number of the judges is also reduced to minimum. Now, specifically, about the events took place after October 1st: on one hand, as I noted above, a very little number of authorized individual remained in the judiciary system and, on the other hand, those who still work there, are not duly qualified. Naturally, they cannot execute the justice on a due level and drive the process forward I say only about the facts, but, they are added by a more terrible thing – the “Not guilty” verdicts cause a disappointment of the society, because a rate of distrust to the court system is still very higher.
– what may be a reason of this?
– It is pity that our new government though it could handle easily with a problem of impartiality of the courts if he judges would have been given an independence. For this purpose, the Ministry of Justice has implemented some interesting projects. However, when the elections of the Board of Justice held, some judges, absolutely unacceptable to the society, were elected in there. For example, among them were those who absolutely wrongly deprived citizenship to Bidzina Ivanishvili, who had passed an unqualified and verdict against Sulkhan Molashvili. So, it is natural that a question – “What happened?” arises in the large public
the society thinks that the situation will be improved, but, it will not be a simple process because a most part of the current judges were and even now are under the threat of the secret recordings. I mean their telephone conversations, private life – everything that were reflected in those files which were recently destroyed absolutely unreasonably
-, You want to say that the judges were blackmailed?
– Yes, of course. That I why, until they are live, they will never do anything against those who had made these secret readings.
– So, it means that we must remain hopeless regarding improvement of the situation in the court system?
– until the courts will have been staffed with such individuals, I cannot see the grounds for optimism and hope. So, I anyone things that these judges will act differently, they are naive
– Let us go back to the problem of restoration of a justice. Among the reasons crating obstacles to the process, a very large number of suits being submitted to the Prosecutor Office is named. Do you think this is a well-justifies opinion?
– I observe actively this process and, can see several factors, which with a certain degree hinder the process to achieve at its end. First of all, nothing is made on a conceptual basis and, until this is true, we cannot be hopeful that the things will be changed. Besides, there are no debates and discussions held. We must agree on what the restoration of justice means. As I see, today some, even qualified lawyers, do not know that a justice is not a juridical, but first of all a moral category. To say shortly, there are very many issues we have to overcome.
– As you have mentioned above, a certain part of the judges is blackmailed and that they will never become really independent. What can be done to clean the court system from such people?
– It is a quite correct an logical question. A problem is not only the fact that some secret records exist (or not) on this or that judge, the main problem is the illegal decisions they made in the past. This is the major discrediting factor for them. That is why they cannot act differently. Now, about the way out: of course a task should be to move these persons in another fields as soon as possible, namely, in the fields where there are less chances for blackmailing. If anybody asks me, the norm of constitutional amendment that establishes a status of permanent judge, should also be revised. And the second: It is essentially important to work and talk with them. They must realize that on account of their high wages and status, they prepare a bad future or their children and grandchildren . . .
– We talk about restoration of justice. So, is it possible to charge the judges of the former state power?
– The investigatory bodies must work and the relevant organs must answer on this question. I can just say that it is difficult to me to nominate even one judge who worked in conditions of the criminal regime but is absolutely innocent and made no mistakes I can state that mot o them committed offences against our citizens.
I can say directly that the violations started just from that very moment when the “Nationals” came to the power. For instance, the Supreme Court of Georgia and the judiciary system in general, were funded not from the budget but from the Soros Foundation, that as an illegal approach from the very beginning. There exist the so called guarantees of independence of the judiciary and, the “Budgetary Guarantee” is one of them. Just this factor was ignored, that, as I think, is the anti-state and harmful approach
-, For the pre-election period, the government announced a moratorium on the legal process. Which factors have served as a precondition for this decision of the leading party and how logical is it?
– I will not be frank if I say that there are similar precedents and I know about them. In any case, I have heard nothing about them, because, as you know, I hold no official position. Moreover, despite my experience, nobody plans to discuss these issues with me. I know nothing about the “internal kitchen” of the current system of justice. But I guess that the said decision was made to disarm Saakashvili, namely, to deprive him to pardon this or that accused after making a verdict
You know that after the elections, 1 month is established or approving a new president. So, the situation is not as simple as it seems at first sight.
Interviewed by Jaba Zhvania