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GYLA Raises Concerns Over Possible Rights Violations in Lazare Grigoriadis’ Case

The Georgian Young Lawyers Association (GYLA) has issued a statement on the case of Lazare Grigoriadis, identifying possible violations of his rights, based on publicly available information. GYLA calls on the Special Investigation Service and the Public Defender to take appropriate action in accordance with their mandate.

  1. The court failed to publicly justify the need for preventive detention: Lazare Grigoriadis was arrested and sentenced to pre-trial detention without the court providing any justification for the use of detention, despite high public interest.
  2. Statements by high-ranking officials may have adversely affected Lazare Grigoriadis’ right to a fair trial: The Chairman of the ruling party and the Prime Minister of Georgia made discriminatory statements about Lazare Grigoriadis, which may have prejudiced his right to a fair trial and violated his presumption of innocence. In addition, TV Imedi disseminated false information about Lazare’s conviction through an Imedi TV program. The program also disseminated material from the ongoing criminal case against Lazare in a manner that created a negative public image of his character.
  3. Possible violation of the privilege against self-incrimination: There are allegations that investigators coerced Lazare Grigoriadis into providing self-incriminating information during interrogation. The right against self-incrimination is absolute, and any coercion to obtain a person’s testimony violates it.
  4. Possible violation of the prohibition of ill-treatment: There are reports that Lazare Grigoriadis had his hair shaved against his will while in detention. The Special Penitentiary Service claimed that it was done with his consent, but there is a discrepancy in the assessments of the defense and the penitentiary service. The European Court of Human Rights has established that the forced shaving of a prisoner’s head can be considered a violation of his dignity.

The GYLA statement reads: “We believe that the developments in relation to Lazare Grigoriadis will significantly limit his right to a fair trial”. GYLA therefore calls for:

  • Government officials to refrain from discriminatory statements and respect the presumption of innocence of Lazare Grigoriadis.
  • The Special Penitentiary Service to fully comply with national and international laws to protect the rights of the prisoner.
  • The Special Investigation Service to investigate the case of Lazare Grigoriadis on the basis of the information provided by his lawyer.
  • The Public Defender of Georgia to use his mandate to monitor the legal situation of Lazare Grigoriadis and to take the necessary measures to protect his rights.

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