The State Inspector Service, an independent investigative agency for to look into crimes committed by law enforcement officers and public officials, has begun performing investigations under its mandate as of November 1.
The scope of the State Inspector Service’s investigative mandate spans various potential crimes committed by law enforcement officers and public officials, among them torture, threat of torture, and inhumane or degrading treatment.
The State Inspector will also investigate instances of abuse or excessive use of official powers, cases of committed using violence, weapon, cases of wanton violations of an individual’s personal dignity. .
The State Inspector Service’s mandate also applies to investigating cases of forced testimony given under duress or coercion; other crimes which relate to the death of inmates due to deliberate negligence.
The Law pertaining to the formation of the State Inspector Service was adopted in July 2018. Launching of the Service’s investigative mandate was initially planned to come into effect from January 1, 2019, but was postponed first until July 1 and then later until November 1.
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Local civil society organizations have strongly criticized the postponement of launching investigative powers of the State Inspector Service, especially following the events of June 20, when due to lacking of the State Inspector’s investigative mandate, the Prosecutor’s Office again issued instructions to investigate the cases of alleged abuses of power by police officers in the by police officers during dispersal of the protestors on June 20-21 in Tbilisi.
The State Inspector’s investigative mandate will apply to the crimes committed after November 1, 2019.
Besides performing this function, the State Inspector Service is in charge of overseeing the legality of handling of personal data by public and private organizations, as well as secret investigative activities. Prior to May 2019, this function was performed by the office for the Personal Data Protection Inspector, which, following its reorganization, was established as an independent investigative agency – State Inspector Service.