Appointment of New Deputy Chief Prosecutor Raises Suspicion in Civil Sector

The appointment of Giorgi Badashvili, former Head of the Investigation Service of the Ministry of Finance of Georgia, to the post of Deputy Chief Prosecutor raised many questions among the civil sector and opposition parties.

In 2014-2015, Badashvili served as Chief Prosecutor and the current Chief Prosecutor Irakli Shotadze was his deputy. He also held the position of Head of the Investigation Unit of the Prosecutor’s Office (POG) of Georgia in 2013.

The Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) GYLA believes that Badashvili’s appointment is not well-grounded.

“A person who used to work in the POG for many years and who could not show himself well returns to the same structure. We would like to know what the argument was for such decision,” GYLA Head Ana Natsvlishvili stressed.

The same question was raised by the NGO Transparency International (TI) Georgia.

"In connection with law enforcement officers, we see they are often moved from one position to another. We cannot understand it,” Eka Gigauri, Executive Director of the TI, said, adding that there are suspicions in society about the existence of informal influence on law enforcement bodies.

“It is important for us to know very clearly why a specific person is appointed to a particular position and what this person has done to be liked or disliked," Gigauri said.

The opposition parties spoke out about the existence of 'clans' within the state bodies. They believe that there was a controversy between the clans of Finance Ministry and the POG and Badashvili’s appointment was the result of this.

Opposition party European Georgia says such instances are bad for the country.

“The exchange of staff does not change anything and the informal governing will still exist,” Otar Kakhidze from European Georgia said, emphasizing that by informal influence he means ex-Chief Prosecutor, Otar Partskhaladze.

The United National Movement (UNM) has the same position on the issue.

“It seems Badashvili will be more comfortable in the POG[…]The biggest problem is that today we have 'clans' and a mafia governing us,” said Deputy Chairman of the UNM Political Council, Zaza Bibilashvili.

Justice Minister Thea Tsulukiani says that Badashvili returned to the POG because Chef Prosecutor Irakli Shotadze requested the addition of one more deputy prosecutor.

“The request was approved by the government after which I made changes to the list of staff,” she said.

Eka Beselia, Majority member, says that rumors about the reason behind Badashvili’s appointment are false.

“I know Badashvili quite well and I think his skills will be well suited for the POG and for all of us,” Beselia noted.

Thea Morrison

08 June 2017 19:33