The Public Defender’s Office stated on December 6 that it considers the investigation of the July 5, 2021, homophobic violence case “ineffective” because “the Prosecutor’s Office did not charge anyone with the organization or leadership of a criminal group, while the decisions taken by the court were inconsistent and, in specific cases, unsubstantiated.”
The Public Defender’s Office studied the progress of the investigation and hearings of three cases of violence committed by persons opposing Tbilisi Pride on July 5, 2021, in which Tbilisi City Court convicted 20 persons of which six persons were found guilty of participating in group violence, while the remaining 14 persons were found guilty under other articles.
The Public Defender’s Office noted based on case materials that the investigation into the July 5 case does not meet the standards of an effective investigation in terms of thoroughness or timeliness. It stated that the examination was conducted late, and physical evidence was also obtained late.
Moreover, the Prosecutor’s Office did not consider the Public Defender’s proposal and did not charge a specific person with organizing or directing group violence, which “became the main reason why the court acquitted 14 people of all charges of group violence.”
“The Prosecutor’s Office also ignored the cases of violation of the right to property and did not file appropriate charges,” the statement released by the Public Defender’s Office reads.
The Public Defender’s Office considers the prosecution’s failure to charge the organizer or leader of the group violence as “one of the main shortcomings.”
The Public Defender’s Office also speaks of inconsistent practices, noting that in one of the cases, the court, when convicting six people of participating in group violence, considered the evidence presented by the Prosecutor’s Office sufficient to establish group violence, while in other cases, it did not apply the mentioned approach and acquitted 14 people, despite the fact that “the Prosecutor’s Office had presented similar evidence relating to all persons.”
“The court also violated the principle of individualization of punishment, it did not take into account the crimes committed by specific persons in the past or their personality when determining the punishment,” it added.
Read the Public Defender’s full report here.