On the 22nd of January, 2016 Tbilisi Court of Appeals left the decision of the first instance court in force and held Ministry of Internal Affairs as well as the Prosecutor’s Office of Georgia equally responsible for reimbursing damages to Giorgi Kldiashvili, inflicted as a result of his illegal detainment.
As the public is already well informed on December 12th, 2014 the Director of IDFI Giorgi Kldiashvili was illegally arrested, 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. He was illegally detained during 72 hours, after which on December 14th, 2014 he was released from the courtroom on bail. On January 15th, 2015 criminal prosecution against Giorgi Kldiashvili 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. During the criminal proceedings the interests of Giorgi Kldiashili in the court was represented by the lawyers of partner organization Georgian Young lawyers' Association (GYLA) – Levan Vepkhadze and Maia Khutsishvili. 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. In this case as well his interests were represented by the lawyer of Georgian Young lawyers' Association (GYLA) – Nika Simonishvili. 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 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 January 22nd 2016. Tbilisi Court of Appeals left the decision of the first instance court in force and held Ministry of Internal Affairs as well as the Prosecutor’s Office of Georgia equally responsible for reimbursing damages to Giorgi Kldiashvili.
It is highlighted in the ruling of Tbilisi Court of Appeals that “the plaintiffs did not succeed to present arguments which would annul the rationale of the first instance court. They could not justify why the decision of Tbilisi City Court was illegal”. The entities failed to properly present their position.
Tbilisi Court of Appeals referred to art. 42 of the Constitution of Georgia according to which any person, who has illegally sustained damage inflicted by the representatives of public entities shall be guaranteed by the court to receive full compensation from the funds of the State. The court also emphasized the fact that Georgia has signed protocol No.7 of the European Convention of Human Rights, thus taking the obligation to compensate all those, who is detained/sentenced illegally, and whose innocence is proven later on. The court also referred to the rules set out in the General administrative Code of Georgia, Procedural Criminal Code and Civil Code and highlighted that damages are to be reimbursed regardless of the fault of the person inquiring damages. 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 Tbilisi Court of Appeals sited the case of Papon v. France and emphasized that a person illegally detained/arrested is not obliged to endure the discomfort linked with his detainment/arrest, hence he is eligible to claim moral damages.
As for the amount of moral damages the court took into consideration the act committed by Giorgi Kldiashvili as well as his lifestyle. The court also found important the circumstance when the Ministry of Internal Affairs disseminated information, according to which Giorgi Kldiashvili was arrested for illegal transportation of firearm. Thus the ministry created threat of damaging the reputation of Giorgi Kldiashvili. Another important factor for determining the amount of moral damages was the fact that during the course of criminal proceedings the status of Giorgi Kldiashvili as of the director of IDFI was suspended based on his own application. Based on all the above mentioned Tbilisi Court of Appeals left the decision of the first instance court in force and held the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Prosecutor’s Office jointly responsible for reimbursing to Giorgi Kldiashvili moral damages amounting to 2000 Gel.
As for determining the amount of financial damages, Tbilisi Court of Appeals held that the decision of the first instance court according to which the entities were obliged to reimburse the damages amounting to 1180 Gel to Giorgi Kldiashvili was just. The decision was based on the service agreement according to which a private solicitor was representing the interests of Giorgi Kldiashvili at the court on the stage of imposing securing measures.
We hope that the Ministry of Internal Affairs as well as the Prosecutor’s Office will in the nearest future ensure that Giorgi Kldiashvil is reimbursed the damages incurred as a result of his illegal detainment, and that they will not choose to further appeal the decision of Tbilisi Court of Appeals in the Supreme Court of Georgia.
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