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Irakli Shotadze Regains Chief Prosecutor’s Post

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On February 18, with 82 votes in favor and none against, the Parliament of Georgia has confirmed penultimate Chief Prosecutor Irakli Shotadze to take back the post, amid opposition boycott. Shotadze will serve a non-renewable six-year term.

Earlier on session of the parliamentary bureau, MP Anri Okhanashvili, chairman of the Parliament’s Legal Issues Committee, proposed to vote for Shotadze at the Parliament’s plenary session without any discussions. He noted that a committee hearing a day earlier lasted for almost seven hours and any persons had an opportunity to ask Shotadze any questions; therefore, he continued, it would be expedient if Shotadze’s nomination was not discussed at the plenary session. He also cited a threat of provocations from opposition politicians as the reason behind his proposal.

The Prosecutor General’s position became vacant last December as the Georgian Parliament confirmed Shalva Tadumadze as the Supreme Court justice for the lifetime tenure.

Shotadze, who first became the Chief Prosecutor in late 2015, resigned in May 2018, following mass demonstration at his office over the controversial Khorava street incident, which left two 16 year-olds – Davit Saralidze and Levan Dadunashvili – stabbed to death.

The Prosecutorial Council, a body responsible for the selection of the new Prosecutor General, selected penultimate chief prosecutor Irakli Shotadze to take back the post on February 7. His candidacy was then sent to the parliament for approval.

Coalition for Independent and Transparent Judiciary, which unites over 40 CSOs, noted in January that the process for Prosecutor General’s selection has been politically biased, arguing that the government has failed repeatedly to appoint a person of high public trust and reputation to this position.

Following Shotadze’s confirmation, ruling Georgian Dream lawmaker, former Speaker Irakli Kobakhidze told journalists that “Irakli Shotadze is a professional; he took a dignified step in its time. He has all the reasons to return to the prosecutor general’s position and work on this post worthily.”

Earlier today, opposition parties, their supporters and civic activists held a protest rally and made shame corridors for ruling party MPs at the parliament entrance in downtown Tbilisi.

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

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