Amicus Curiae Brief in connection with Nika Gvaramia's Case
On 4 November 2019, the Public Defender filed an amicus curiae brief with Tbilisi City Court in connection with the criminal case against Nika Gvaramia, former Director General of the Rustavi 2 Broadcasting Company Ltd.
The purpose of the amicus curiae brief is not to support any of the parties involved, including the defendant, but to assist the Court in properly assessing the legal issue.
The Public Defender indicated that, according to laws and international practice/standards, a decision made by a director of an enterprise, even a harmful one, cannot be subject to criminal liability; it may only be subject to corporate legal liability and even this may happen only in exceptional cases. The decision of a director, even if it brings less profit, may serve the best interests of the corporation and provide short or long-term risk insurance.
The Public Defender explained that the best interests of an enterprise requires that its director take entrepreneurial risks. The director should not be afraid of the fact that an entrepreneurial decision was considered by the court as criminal in the past, only because of its negative outcome, especially if the act does not show dominant position or abuse of such position and if the director’s decision can be reasonably interpreted.
It is indicated in the amicus curiae brief that the Court should consider the circumstances of the case and present a reasoned opinion, since the resolution of circumstances surrounding the charges against Nika Gvaramia directly affects both the protection of individual's rights and freedoms and development of further practice of the court.
Accordingly, since in the Public Defender’s opinion, the charges filed by the Prosecutor’s Office against Nika Gvaramia do not contain enough obvious signs for imposing criminal liability, the Court should consider the issue in depth and assess whether the disputed action is truly a crime or whether it should be discussed in the context of corporate law.
We would like to remind the public that the content of Nika Gvaramia's indictment relies on the unprofitability of the entrepreneurial decision that he made when he was the Director of the Rustavi 2 Broadcasting Company. Signing a non-profit contract and failure to obtain the maximum amount of profit, according to the Prosecutor's Office, is an illegal embezzlement of property.
The Public Defender started to study the above case on her own initiative on August 29, 2019; the Office has fully analyzed the criminal case materials submitted by the defense.