TI Georgia Slams Rurua Case Judge for ‘Discreditation Attempts’

In its statement of September 14, Transparency International Georgia, a local watchdog, decried “discreditation attempts” by Valerian Bugianishvili, judge for the case of Giorgi Rurua and accused him “of continuing an extremely dangerous tendency when judicial system repeats the messages voiced by the ruling party and attempting to harm the reputation of the human rights organization.”

The watchdog’s starkly-worded missive comes in response to Bugianishvili refusal to consider TI Georgia’s Amicus Curiae brief on Rurua’s case, submitted to the Tbilisi City Court in January, on the grounds of its “bias” in favor of the defendant.

This, the civil society organization argued, “demonstrates once again that the judge of Giorgi Rurua’s case, supposedly, acted with political motives.”

Recalling that Amicus Curiae is a well-established practice in order to assist a court in assessing legal issues, TI Georgia slammed Bugianishvili for his “general evaluation” and “superficial attitude” towards this democratic mechanism.

Giorgi Rurua, one of the shareholders of pro-opposition Mtavari Arkhi TV, was arrested on November 18 in the wake of renewed street protests demanding fully proportional elections and sentenced to four years in prison on July 30 for illegal purchase, storage and carrying firearms. Rurua’s defense lawyers and supporters claim the prosecution politically motivated. TI Georgia said in its Amicus Curiae brief that “Rurua’s rights and freedoms, guaranteed by the Constitution of Georgia and various international acts, were unlawfully restricted during conducting his personal search and other investigative actions.”

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