The majority in the Parliament and the opposition are working on a draft Law on Amnesty for alleged crimes committed on June 20-21, 2019. The amnesty is part of an agreement reached between the political parties through the mediation of the President of the European Council, Charles Michel. Despite the signed agreement, it is still questionable who exactly will be granted the amnesty.
Of particular interest to the public are the alleged crimes of the law enforcement officers involved in the events of June 20, 2019. Up to this date, the Tbilisi City Court will separately hear the ongoing criminal cases by different judges against 3 riot police: Levan Imerlishvili, Giorgi Esiashvili and Mindia Ambardnishvili. HRC has been monitoring all three court proceedings since February 2020.
Levan Imerlishvili, Giorgi Esiashvili and Mindia Ambardnishvili are charged under Article 333(3)(b) of the Criminal Code of Georgia envisaging "an abuse of the official powers by an official or a person equal to him /her that has resulted in the substantial violation of the rights of natural or legal persons, or of the lawful interests of the public or the State, using a force or a weapon."
During the HRC monitoring, no court hearings were held in the ongoing cases against Levan Imerlishvili and Mindia Ambardnishvili. The hearing of Levan Imerlishvili's case was scheduled several times, however it was postponed on every occasion. As what Giorgi Esiashvili concerns, during the monitoring, 4 court hearings were held attended by the court monitor.
Former riot police officers Levan Imerlishvili, Giorgi Esiashvili and Mindia Ambardnishvili were arrested in summer 2019. For some time the accused were remanded in custody. At the moment, they are remanded on bail of GEL 10,000 (ten thousand). The reason for changing the measure of restraint for Levan Imerlishvili was the deterioration of the health condition of the accused; the Court agreed with the opinion and granted the lawyer's motion.
The hearing on merits of the criminal case against Giorgi Esiashvili commenced on September 17, 2019 in the Tbilisi City Court. Since the judge who was hearing the case was replaced, the new judge decided to re-examine the evidence on the case as prescribed by Article 183 of the Criminal Procedure Code of Georgia (CCG).
On March 18, 2021, following the petition from the defense, the statement concerning the reconciliation of the victims with the accused (there are two victims in the present case) and the fact of full compensation of the damage by the accused was included into the criminal case files under consideration. According to the statement, the victims admit that they have no claim in this case and welcome reaching a plea agreement with the accused.
On April 22, 2021, the Tbilisi City Court granted the motion of the defense on the revocation of the additional measures applied against accused Giorgi Esiashvili. As the additional measure the following was used: an obligation to inform the investigating authority, and without the consent of the latter not to leave the residence, and to appear to the investigating authority once a week.
Giorgi Esiashvili fully agrees with the allegations put against him. According to the media, Levan Imerlishvili also pleads guilty, while Mindia Ambardnishvili's lawyer reports that his client has not acted ultra vires and needs no amnesty, as he will be acquitted in this case.
Human Rights Center conducts court monitoring within Legal Aid and Human Rights Monitoring project supported by the National Endowment for Democracy (NED).
Human Rights Center