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Watchdog Calls on Prosecutorial Council Not to Nominate Irakli Shotadze as Chief Prosecutor

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A local watchdog, Human Rights and Monitoring Center (EMC) calls on the Prosecutorial Council, a body responsible for the selection of the new Prosecutor General, not to support Irakli Shotadze’s candidacy, who resigned the post over the controversial Khorava street incident following mass demonstration in May 2018.

The watchdog says the “figures responsible for the systemic failure” should not be taking back their positions.

The Prosecutorial Council is the 15-member body in charge of nominating candidates for the chief prosecutor, which was previously subordinated to the Justice Ministry, but the new Constitution of Georgia made it an independent body directly accountable to the Parliament.

In a statement released on January 16, EMC said that the processes and extent of violations into the controversial Khorava street incident “directly pointed at the political responsibility of the Chief Prosecutor in the process, which could have been attributed to Shotadze’s direct involvement or his inadequate management of the system, which enabled the high-officials of the prosecutor’s office to make unlawful influence on the establishment of truth over the Saralidze case.”

According to EMC, Irakli Shotadze’s resignation “meant the recognition of his political responsibility,” and lack of his legitimacy as Prosecutor General. “With this background, Shotadze’s candidacy has no public trust and consideration of his candidacy at the Prosecutor General’s position creates risks to further strengthen politicization within the system,” the human rights watchdog said.

The Prosecutor General’s position became vacant as the Parliament confirmed former chief prosecutor Shalva Tadumadze as a judge of the Supreme Court for the lifetime tenure.

The Prosecutorial Council launched public consultations on nominating the new Chief Prosecutor on December 17, 2019. As of January 16, 14 candidates were submitted to the council. The candidacy of Irakli Shotadze was submitted to the Prosecutorial Council by Georgian Technical University. January 17 is the last day of consultations.

The Prosecutorial Council now has to submit the Chief Prosecutor candidate to the Parliament for approval. The submitted candidate will need the support of 76 lawmakers (of sitting 150 MPs) to be confirmed as a new General Prosecutor.

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

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