Natia Mezvrishvili, former head of the government administration, responded to the current political events and noted that it was possible to develop the events in a different way.
“Very briefly on the recent developments in the country, about how everything could have been different, how the detention of the defendant could have been avoided until the final court decision and how we could have avoided the damaging processes taking place today:
First of all – this does not touch upon the issue of innocence or guilt of the defendant. With this, I refer to the use of detention as a measure of restraint that does not have any linkage to the final verdict against the defendant.
Even if we ignore the execution of detention for a moment, meaning the form of execution, the last part of the process (the execution of detention) can’t be in compliance with legal requirements while there were number of questions regarding the whole process prior to the execution. Everyone who has heard basics about the measures of restraint or knows the practice on the latter, will fully agree with me on this.
Explaining the legal norms narrowly and out of context, especially in such a case, to put it bluntly, was harmful for the country and the consequences of this will be better seen in the coming days if we do not see it clearly already.
Indeed, in case of non-payment of a bail, prosecutor applies to the court to request more severe measure of restraint. However, this norm cannot be reviewed in isolation as any measure of restraint (whether imprisonment or bail) first of all requires a basis – meaning, a reasonable presumption that the defendant will hide, destroy evidence or will commit a new crime. This means that even if the accused fails to pay a bail, prior to applying a more severe measure of restraint, the prosecution/court shall first discuss whether there is still a ground to use a measure of restraint to the accused person. That said, the accused could easily have been left without a measure of restraint before being sentenced in the present case.
Moreover, the Law does not define the hierarchy of the measures of restraints, thus no one knows which measure is more or less severe. This is because often a court applies warranty or other non-custodial measure of restraints where defendant violates requirements of a bail conditions.
As for the execution of detention, definitely it would be impossible to assess the execution as a proper decision, when in the pre-execution process there were a lot of questions about the actions of the police, the prosecutor"s office and the court.
This case as an issue of changing the measure of restraint, has drifted all existing challenges of every part of the Justice System. I hope that the political storm will calm down and we all will re-think the importance of the complex (and not fragmented ones), fundamental and functional reforms of the Justice System.
And finally about the most critical thing - a clear example of how a country can loose with the name of “Law Enforcement”. No one says we should not follow the law, however it shouldn’t be done in return to damaging country’s image and Western aspirations. Sadly, it is now a fact that the persecution of one accused “in the name of the law” provoked the backsliding of the country”, - writes Natia Mezvrishvili.