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Watchdogs Rally for Free Courts, Slam GDDG

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A group of local non-governmental watchdogs and private citizens slammed the recent statement of the ruling Georgian Dream–Democratic Georgia (GDDG) party’s political council in support of the current courts, saying it equaled “burying” of the idea of free judiciary.

The group rallied outside the Supreme Court on February 6 and read out their statement, protesting what they call a “clannish rule” in courts.

“Georgian Dream has entered into alliance with the clan existing in the court, under the leadership of [Supreme Court judges] Mikheil Chinchaladze and Levan Murusidze. Under the previous government [led by the United National Movement (UNM)], this group has …totally subjugated the judiciary, [while] receiving and fulfilling political orders,” the group stated.

The watchdog group said the ruling party’s political council adopted a resolution on February 5 in which it “attacks those willing to improve the system,” accusing them of having links with the UNM, while in fact GDDG itself “supports and expresses trust to the clan that ruled the judiciary under the UNM.”

The protesters pledged to continue their struggle “to liberate, improve and achieve real independence for the judiciary.” “We will unite our efforts to ensure that justice appears in the hands of honest judges,” the watchdogs’ statement reads.

Speaking with TV Pirveli on February 5, Parliament Speaker Irakli Kobakhidze accused local civil society organizations of pursuing the National Movement’s agenda and expressed his support to judges.

“Before 2012, there were millions of cases of malpractice in courts. Now there are none. This means that the system has changed, without the change of cadre. The judges who were doing bad things before are doing good things now,” he said.

This post is also available in: ქართული (Georgian) Русский (Russian)

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