Public Defender’s Statement on Fire at Leogrand Hotel

The Public Defender of Georgia expresses sorrow over the fire broken out at the Leogrand hotel in the city of Batumi on November 24, 2017, offers his sympathy to the families of the victims and wishes the injured to recover soon.

According to the Public Defender, it is important to quickly and effectively investigate the cause of the blaze. As it became known, an investigation was launched under Article 243 of the Criminal Code of Georgia, pertaining to the violation of fire safety rules. In the first place, the investigation should determine whether the fire safety rules were observed in the process of construction of the hotel and whether protection of the rules was required by the respective competent agency when approving the construction project. It should be established if the safety rules were not requested, or not protected despite the request, and the officials who issued permit for the construction and operation of the hotel should be identified.

The Public Defender of Georgia has repeatedly appealed to the Government to strictly monitor fire safety. Not only the hotel personnel, but also the state is responsible for the safety of the hotel. The abovementioned gravest case should serve as grounds for the implementation of relevant regulations by the authorities in order to check safety in all hotels and guesthouses.

The Public Defender of Georgia will continue to monitor the investigation and hopes that the results of the impartial and objective investigation will be available for the public.

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