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Abuse of pre-trial detention in Georgia

Written declaration No. 586 | Doc. 13699 | 29 January 2015

Mr Christopher CHOPE, United Kingdom, EC ; Mr Pedro AGRAMUNT, Spain, EPP/CD ; Mr Volodymyr ARIEV, Ukraine, EPP/CD ; Mr Josep Anton BARDINA PAU, Andorra, ALDE ; Ms Marieluise BECK, Germany, ALDE ; Mr André BUGNON, Switzerland, ALDE ; Mr Alain DESTEXHE, Belgium, ALDE ; Mr Arcadio DÍAZ TEJERA, Spain, SOC ; Mr Bernd FABRITIUS, Germany, EPP/CD ; Mr Axel E. FISCHER, Germany, EPP/CD ; Mr Hans FRANKEN, Netherlands, EPP/CD ; Sir Roger GALE, United Kingdom, EC ; Mr Valeriu GHILETCHI, Republic of Moldova, EPP/CD ; Ms Dzhema GROZDANOVA, Bulgaria, EPP/CD ; Mr Margus HANSON, Estonia, ALDE ; Mr Terry LEYDEN, Ireland, ALDE ; Ms Inese LĪBIŅA-EGNERE, Latvia, EPP/CD ; Ms Meritxell MATEU PI, Andorra, ALDE ; Mr João Bosco MOTA AMARAL, Portugal, EPP/CD ; Mr Zsolt NÉMETH, Hungary, EPP/CD ; Mr Pieter OMTZIGT, Netherlands, EPP/CD ; Ms Gabriela PECKOVÁ, Czech Republic, EPP/CD ; Mr Cezar Florin PREDA, Romania, EPP/CD ; Mr Stefan SCHENNACH, Austria, SOC ; Mr Ionuţ-Marian STROE, Romania, EPP/CD ; Mr Egidijus VAREIKIS, Lithuania, EPP/CD ; Mr Robert WALTER, United Kingdom, EC ; Mr Jordi XUCLÀ, Spain, ALDE ; Ms Kristýna ZELIENKOVÁ, Czech Republic, ALDE ; Mr Emanuelis ZINGERIS, Lithuania, EPP/CD

As noted by Article 2 of Resolution 2015 (2014) on the Functioning of Democratic Institutions in Georgia, “Almost the entire leadership of the former ruling party has been arrested or is under prosecution or investigation.” Amongst them is one of UNM leaders and former Tbilisi Mayor Gigi Ugulava. Mr Ugulava, then campaign manager of UNM in June 2014 local elections was arrested days prior to the runoff and placed in pre-trial detention, sparking widespread criticism.

Upon request of the Georgian Government, Office of Democratic Institutions and Human Rights of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE/ODIHR) published report on monitoring of 327 trials of 14 former officials and political figures under prosecution in Georgia following the change of Government in 2012. Amongst others, “continued and unreasonable use of pre-trial detention” is one of the main findings. This concern is also highlighted by the above-mentioned Assembly resolution.

We the undersigned, members of the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly, call on the Georgian authorities to address the concerns enumerated in these documents and in particular pre-trial detention of political figures.