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CoE Committee of Ministers Decisions on the Execution of ECHR Judgments in Case of Merabishvili v. Georgia

On June 14, the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe published its decisions on the execution of the judgments of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in the case of Merabishvili v. Georgia, and decided to resume consideration of the case at their DH meeting in March 2025.

The ECHR judgments in this case date back to 2017 and concerned the failure of the Georgian courts to provide sufficiently reasoned decisions on the continued pretrial detention of the applicant, former Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior Vano Merabishvili, and the use of pretrial detention during this period by the Prosecutor General for the unlawful purpose of pressuring the applicant to provide information on matters unrelated to the criminal case against him.

The Ministers’ deputies recalled that the case concerns violations of Article 5 § 3 (entitlement of a detainee to trial within a reasonable time or to release pending trial), due to the lack of sufficiently reasoned judicial decisions for the continued pre-trial detention of Vano Merabishvili, and of Article 18 (limitation on use of restrictions on rights) in conjunction with Article 5 § 1 (right to liberty and security), as it was found that the pre-trial detention during its continued period was used by the Prosecutor General “for the illegitimate purpose of pressuring the applicant into providing information on matters unrelated to the criminal case against him.”

With regard to the investigation of the case, the deputies “strongly urged” the authorities to ensure “timely and effective” implementation of all the necessary measures to fully address the shortcomings identified by the Court and “to rapidly finalize the investigation.”

Emphasizing the importance of the independence of the Prosecutor’s Office, deputies noted “with serious concern” the lack of progress in amending the rules governing the appointment of the Prosecutor General, as recommended by the Venice Commission, and “strongly urged” the authorities “to adopt the relevant constitutional changes without further delay.”

The deputies also called on the authorities to take concrete steps, in close cooperation with the Council of Europe, to implement measures to reform the law on the prosecution service.

The deputies also regretted the shortening of the time limit for storing surveillance data in prisons and called on the authorities to provide clarification.

Deputies decided to resume consideration of the case at their meeting in March 2025.

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

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