The Public Defender addresses the Head of the General Inspection of the Ministry of Internal Affairs with a proposal15 08 2012
The Public Defender of Georgia has addressed the Head of the General Inspection of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia with a proposal to launch disciplinary proceedings against investigator Ilia Kupunia.
On May 31, 2012, the Public Defender received an application of the lawyers of convict Vakhtang Dzidzishvili. The application makes it clear that a prosecutor of the Department of Prosecutorial Supervision of Investigation in the Bodies of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Tbilisi Prosecutor’s Office, Genadi Bagdasarov, and investigator Ilia Kupunia are conducting a criminal case of defendant Vakhtang Dzidzishvili.
As a result of examination of the case materials, it was ascertained that the Chief Investigator of the Tbilisi and Mstkheta-Mtianeti Main Division of the Patrol Police, Ilia Kupunia, may have violated the rights of defendant V. Dzidzishvili.
On April 4, 2012, at about 17:00, investigator Ilia Kupunia arrived at Establishment No. 8 of the Department of Prisons and was going to bring an indictment against Vakhtang Dzidzishvili. The defendant demanded a lawyer’s assistance in order to better understand the situation. The investigator failed to meet the lawful demand of the defendant. He contacted the procedural head, prosecutor Genadi Bagdasarov, and tasked him with explaining the situation to the defendant. Later, prosecutor Genadi Bagdasarov arrived at Establishment No. 8 of the Department of Prisons and tried to ascertain the reason why Vakhtang Dzidzishvili had refused to sign the decision on indictment. The defendant demanded a lawyer’s assistance again, though without any results.
The aforementioned is confirmed by a protocol drawn up by prosecutor G. Bagdasarov on April 4, 2012, which was also signed by Ilia Kupunia, and by the minutes of the court session of April 5, 2012, during which the defendant was brought to the Tbilisi City Court for the first time. It is noted in the documents that at the time of bringing an indictment, the defendant demanded a lawyer’s assistance, but the investigator refused to meet his demand.
If a defendant wants to retain a lawyer and demands his participation in a criminal case, this is his law-given right and this demand must be fulfilled immediately. The right to use a lawyer’s assistance is a central element of the principle of a fair trial. Although this right does not belong to the category of absolute rights, its restriction may only be temporary. The restriction may only be caused by extreme necessity; it must serve a legitimate aim and must not pose an essential danger to the essence of effective defense.
In this case, defendant Vakhtang Dzidzishvili wanted the lawyer defending his interests to attend the reading of the decision on indictment. There was no extreme need to impose a restriction on the right, but the investigator failed to meet the requirements of the Code of Criminal Procedure. During the reading of the decision on indictment, he did not allow the defendant to invite the lawyer in spite of the latter’s openly expressed will. Accordingly, he violated the Law of Georgia on the Police according to which an investigator must carry out his activity based on the principle of lawfulness.