The Public Defender of Georgia addresses the Parliament of Georgia with a proposal14 08 2012
The Public Defender of Georgia has addressed the Parliament of Georgia with a proposal to make corresponding changes to the Criminal Code of Procedure of Georgia that will allow owners to appeal seizure of their property.
During the past months, the Public Defender of Georgia has received applications of several persons who considered that seizure of their property or bank accounts applied by investigatory bodies violated their right to property.
At the same time, the Public Defender, on his own initiative, started studying several high-profile cases that were connected with seizure of satellite dishes under the ownership of Global Consulting and Maestro Studio, as well as seizure of bank accounts of different natural and legal persons.
While studying similar cases, the Public Defender is only authorized to assess the issue of protection of procedural rights of the parties during the examination of the issue by the court, while the assessment of evidence by the judge who decides the issue goes beyond the competence of the Public Defender.
The examination of the aforementioned cases made it clear that seizure of both objects and bank accounts related to the property of persons that were not parties to criminal proceedings (they were not defendants). And the Code of Criminal Procedure of Georgia only gives the right to appeal a seizure to a party.
The Public Defender considers that the lack of regulation of the issue by the legislation (the fact that an owner cannot appeal a seizure applied to his/her property) causes violation of Article 42 (the right to a fair trial) and Article 21 (the right to property) of the Constitution of Georgia.
Accordingly, the Public Defender has addressed the Parliament of Georgia with a proposal to make corresponding changes to the Code of Criminal Procedure of Georgia which will create an effective means for owners to defend their rights in court if seizure is applied on the basis of a demand of a law enforcement body.