The Supreme Court Ruled in Favor of Giorgi Kldiashvili!
Author: Nino Merebashvili
The Supreme Court of Georgia left the decision of Tbilisi City Court in force, according to which the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Prosecutor’s Office were held responsible to compensate moral and pecuniary damages to Giorgi Kldiashvili, dwelling from the fact of his illegal detainment on December 12th 2014.
The appeal of the Ministry of Internal Affairs was denied without review on April 14th, 2016 due to the failure of the Ministry to meet the procedural deadlines set by the law. As for the Prosecutor’s Office Appeal, on June 2nd, 2016 the Supreme Court declared the appeal inadmissible.
The Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Prosecutor’s Office appealed against the decision of the first instance court first at the Appellate and then to the Supreme Court. All three instances of courts held the entities responsible to compensate Giorgi Kldiashvili the damages incurred as a result of his illegal detainment.
As the society is already well informed on December 12th, 2014 the Director of IDFI Giorgi Kldiashvili was illegally arrested, by representatives of the Criminal Police Department with the charge of illicit carrying of firearms, crime envisaged by art. 236.2 of the Criminal Code of Georgia. Kldiashvili was transporting home a firearm after repairing it at an arms shop. The fire arm was officially registered on the name of Giorgi Kldiashvili, although he did not have a permit on transportation. Regardless of the fact that the action of Kldiashvili constituted administrative offence, criminal prosecution was launched against him. Kldiashvili was taken to the detention center after questioning. It should be highlighted that on December 14th, 2014 Giorgi Kldiashvili was released from the courtroom on bail, whereas on January 15th, 2015 criminal prosecution against him was suspended, as the court held that his actions were not criminal in character, hence did not constitute the crime foreseen by the Criminal Code of Georgia.
On February 10th, 2015 Giorgi Kldiashvili filed an appeal at Tbilisi City Court for moral and financial damages inflicted as a result of illegal detainment. Lawyer Nika Simonishvili from the partner organization - Georgian Young Lawyers Association (GYLA) was representing the interests of Kldiashvili (It should be noted that lawyers of the same organization Maia Khutsishvili and Levan Vepkhvadze successfully protected interests of Giorgi Kldiashvili in the course of criminal prosecution against him). On June 23rd, 2015 the court held Ministry of Internal Affairs and Prosecutor’s Office of Georgia equally responsible for compensating moral damages amounting to 2000 Gel and monetary damages amounting to 1180 to Giorgi Kldiashvili.
The decision of the court was based on domestic legislation as well as international law, i.e. the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Basic Freedoms, as well as relevant case law (the case of Ramishvili and Kokhreidze vs. Georgia).
The court made important ruling on the criteria of damages and highlighted that in order to grant an appeal on damages two main provisions should be present: Illegality of actions (which caused damage) and fact of rehabilitation, that is suspension of criminal prosecution. It is unambiguous that in the case of Girogi Kdliashvili both criteria were present, i.e. firstly he was illegally detained after which criminal prosecution against him was suspended as the court held that his actions were not criminal in character.
In addition the court highlighted that, even though the measure of detainment serves the legitimate purpose of a state to protect safety of its citizens, nonetheless a person against whom criminal prosecution has been suspended, should be compensated damages for unlawful intervention in his rights by a state.
The dispute of Giorgi Kldiashvili against the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Prosecutor’s Office of Georgia represents an important precedential case on damages, as it sets the criteria for compensating damages and its compulsory pre-requisites.
Unfortunately the Ministry of Internal Affairs as well as the Prosecutor's Office of Georgia have appealed the decision of Tbilisi City Court in the higher instance court. The hearing on the case at Tbilisi Court of Appeals was held on the 22nd of January, 2016. The Court did not grant the appeal filed by the Prosecutor's Office and the Ministry of Internal Affairs and left the decision of the first instance court in force. According to the decision the above-mentioned entities are held responsible to pay moral and monetary damages to Giorgi Kldiashvili dwelling from the fact of his illegal detainment. We hope that the entities will fully internalize that they are bound by the decisions of the court and compensate damages to Giorgi Kldiashvili in the nearest future.
It is crucial that the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Prosecutors Office of Georgia guarantee that the damages are compensated to Giorgi Kldiashvili in the nearest future.
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