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A member of the Parliamentary Majority, Eka Beselia, as a guest of the talk show, Reaktsia,

talked about the restoration of justice. Ms Beselia stated: "More than 300 public servants were brought before the court for crimes committed in the previous years. In 2013-2014, there were more than 100 cases with respective court rulings, including the facts of illegal treatment, the humiliation of human dignity and torture."

FactCheck

took interest in the accuracy of Eka Beselia’s statement.

In order to make a precise assessment of the statement, it is necessary to define the concept of "bringing before the court." Criminal law does not recognise such a concept. However, the term "to hold responsible" does exist. According to Article 7 of the Criminal Code of Georgia, a crime constitutes the ground for criminal responsibility. According to Part 1 of Article 5 of the Criminal Procedure Code of Georgia, a person is considered to be innocent until he is proven guilty by the legally enforced verdict of the court. Therefore, legally speaking, holding a person responsible means having a court verdict (indictment) against him. If the Prosecutor’s Office starts an investigation of a specific case or launches criminal proceedings against an individual, this does not equal holding someone responsible.

Considering the aforementioned, we have to assess Eka Beselia’s statement upon the ground of the statistics of negative verdicts. In order to ascertain how many individuals were sentenced by the court for crimes committed in the period of 2004-2012, FactCheck

addressed the Supreme Court of Georgia.

According to the information obtained from the Supreme Court of Georgia, beginning from 1 October 2012 up until 1 March 2015, Georgian courts have discussed the cases of 201 former public servants for their past crimes. Of these, 183 individuals were proven guilty.

Judgments against Public Servants (who Committed Crimes in the Period of 2004-2012) in the Courts of First Instance of Georgia from October 2012 until 1 March 2015
Articles of the Criminal Code of Georgia Judgment Including
Guilty Not Guilty
Individual Individual Individual
In Total 201 183 18
Intentional Homicide (Article 108) 1 1
Intentional Homicide under Aggravating Circumstances (Article 109) 2 2
Battery (Article 125) 3 3
Sexual Abuse under Violence (Article 138) 3 3
Illegal Imprisonment (Article 143) 9 6 3
Torture (Article 1441) 19 10 9
Humiliation of Dignity or Inhumane Treatment (Article 1443) 21 21
Illegal Interference into Professional Activity of Journalists  (Article 154) 1 1
Persecution (Article 156) 2 2
Forgery (Article 180) 8 8
Misappropriation or Embezzlement (Article 182) 10 10
Forging or Use of Credit or Settlement Card (Article 210) 3 3
 Breach of Customs Procedures (Article 214) 3 3
Illicit Purchase, Keeping, Carrying, Production, Shipment, Transfer or Sale of Fire-Arms, Ammunition, Explosive Material or Explosive Devices (Article 236) 3 3
Hooliganism  (Article 239) 2 2
Bribery (Article 338) 17 17
 Illicit Preparation, Production, Purchase, Keeping, Shipment, Transference or Sale of a Psychotropic Substance, its Analogy or other Powerful Substance (Article 260) 4 4
Violation of Traffic Safety or Maintenance Rule (Article 276) 9 9
 Abuse of Official Authority (Article 332) 21 21
 Exceeding Official Powers (Article 333) 21 21
 Giving Evidence or Submitting Opinion under Duress (Article 335) 6 6
Bribery (Article 338) 6 6
 Falsification of Documents and Data (Article 341) 8 8
 Neglect of Official Duty  (Article 342) 16 16
 Preparation or Using of Forged Document, Seal, Stamp or Blank (Article 362) 1 1
Illegal Action Related to Inventoried, Attached Property or Property Subject to Confiscation (Article 376) 2 2

In the second part of her statement, Eka Beselia emphasises that there were more than 100 judgments on the cases of illegal treatment, humiliation of human dignity and torture.

Illegal treatment and humiliation of dignity are not punishable by the Criminal Code of Georgia. Humiliation of dignity is one of the integral components of another crime; that is, cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment. Therefore, we can assume that Ms Beselia meant those judgments which related to degrading and inhumane treatment and torture. These crimes are punishable by Article 141 and Article 144 of the Criminal Code of Georgia. As illustrated by the statistics obtained from the Supreme Court of Georgia, 40 cases of these crimes were discussed and 31 individuals were proven guilty.

Even though Eka Beselia’s statement concerned only those individuals who had already been proven guilty, FactCheck

asked the Prosecutor’s Office to provide information about the number of former public servants against whom criminal proceedings have been launched. Thus far, we have not received a reply from the Prosecutor’s Office.

Conclusion

As Eka Beselia uses the term "bringing before the court," it is obvious that her statement concerns those individuals who were proven guilty. According to the information obtained from the Supreme Court of Georgia, from 1 October 2012 there were 201 cases discussed against former public servants for crimes committed in the years 2004-2012. Of these, 193 individuals were proven guilty. Forty cases were discussed for inhumane treatment and torture and 31 individuals were proven guilty. Therefore, the MP is wrong both in the total number of verdicts and in the number of individuals sentenced for torture and inhumane treatment.

FactCheck concludes that Eka Beselia’s statement is MOSTLY FALSE.

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