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Gela Nikoleishvili: There are so many evidences against Akhalaias and Megis Kardava, that even the whole world would not protect them

05 11 2012 14:11:35
Gela Nikoleishvili: There are so many evidences against Akhalaias and Megis Kardava, that even the whole world would not protect them

Geworld interviewed on the current development Gela Nikoleishvili – advocate, human rights defender and a candidate for the post of ombudsman

- Batono Gela, during the last nine years, you and many other advocates and human right defenders both in Georgia and abroad, permanently declared that Georgia is governed by the authoritarian regime. Now, we say “good bye” to the regime. What do you think, is anything changed really? What we have received?

- I’d like to start with the circumstances through which we managed to depart Saakasjvioli’s regime so rapidly and without painful problems. In all  interviews, including the yours,  I was indicating that if the regime would forge the elections by 35-40%, they will “fix” majority for their favor, but, if they fail to do so, then they will forge the elections by 10-15%, only and the people will say OK, because the regime is defeated. The regime really forged the elections, but by 15 or 20% only. Naturally, it was not enough to win the elections. They failed to forge the elections more seriously because of two factors: on one hand, the society boosted out the disguise and hate accumulated during nine years and, on the other hand, there was a very serious pressure from the West. As to your question whether anything is changed or not, I think that an attitude towards a human has changed first of all, and generally in the national-like thinking occurred serious changes. During the whole nine-year period they wanted us to become familiar with the opinion that  a man is nothing, and that the bulk of stones, buildings, roads, schools, hospitals, hotels, etc. are most important. Nobody explained us who could live in these hotels and what a benefit could derive the Georgians from them, who could be cured in the repaired hospitals, learn in the modern standards-like schools, institutes. . . . As a matter of fact, they wanted all these to have for themselves only and, employ teachers as their coordinators during the pre-election period. All know everything. Finally, Saakashvili formed the state power, I would like to underline – state power, not the state, where  everything was a window-dressing. In other words, everything – factories, shops, hotels were a decoration for the regime, the same decoration as the governmental team. All such things which have no reliable fundament, will be destroyed earlier or later. This turned to be true in our case, as well and, nothing is surprising here. So, it s natural that when a chance of choice wsas given to people, the end of regime came . . . 


- The new government has formed already and, its representative starter active talks about   responsibility of the previous top officials. What do you think, on what level must be established such responsibility?, How the justice may touch the highest echelons?


- If the highest echelons will not become answerable, people will start thinking that the new power failed to restore the justice in the country. On the one hand, nobody must be punished in the sadist and inhuman manner that was an ordinary practice during times of former government, but, if a crime is proved, the justice must be adequate, no matter who has committed a crime -  judge, prosecutor, or a low-ranked policeman. If a barrier is created to execution of the law, i.e., if the law operates to one person and does not operate to another, then we can say that nothing is achieved in establishing the justice.


- I mentioned the top echelons because some top officials towards whom there exist certain questions and their responsibility is pending with a great probability, have already left Georgia and a place of their current stay is unknown. Is it possible to apply a justice against them?


- I think that it is not a difficult problem to resolve. Today, there are serious evidences against many of them.  As to Akhalaias and Megis Kardava, there are so many evidences  that even the whole world would not  protect them.


- Of course, we do not run in front of the events, but if recollect the crimes committed  by Bacho  Akhalaia and Megis Kardava, what kind of punishment may be determined to them?


- According to our legislation, i.e. if use the principle of summarization they may be sentenced by 30 or 40 years of imprisonment  for each crime


- More specifically, does the crimes committed by Bacho Akhalaia, Megis Kardba and other top officials envisage the rights measure of punishment?


- if summarizing each their crimes, the punishment may reach at even one hundred and thirty years. 


- And, must the court sessions be held in Georgia or, an international tribunal is more appropriate?


- Crimes are committed in Georgia, therefore, all the procedures – investigation, court processes and punishment, should take place in Georgia, of course.


-  Representatives of “Georgian Dream” make an emphasis on the process of depoliticizing. They think that during the last nine years, the policy and the political interests have penetrated into all spheres of our life. Do you have a feeling that it is a certainly artificial opinion? Was everything so strongly politicized in the country?


- Yes, I think so. When talking about not only authoritarian but already total regime, it means that the policy was in all spheres, without exception, Saakashvili wanted to govern everything without limitation. Otherwise, the “National Movement” could survive for a certain time.  Just this factor accelerated the end of Saakashvili’s power.  Let’s take Ministry of Education, schools, universities, Army, Penitentiary Institutions, Ministry of Justice, Court – all these establishments and structures, as a rule, must be out of the politics, but, they have occurred under a direct pressure by the regime. To say simply, the regime has determined for them only one function – a role of supporter of the ruling team. The same happened in  other spheres: science, arts, sport. By the way, I mentioned the court. Several days ago I had talks with the court marshals. They told me they are under the pressure even now, because they voted in favor of “Georgian Dream”, because the former official think that governance of “Georgian ream” will not last for a long time. The marshals nominate concrete persons, officials who threaten them. So, policy was a comprising part of everything, even of the kindergartens where the special coordinators were appointed by the ruling party, if say nothing about other public and governmental institutions


- But, when the concrete persons, officials are named, which have certainly influenced and influence even today on the ordinary officers, why the investigation is not interesting in them?


- Today it is not a right time to speak about this. The General prosecutor as well as the ministers were appointed just several days ago, the system is still completed by the personnel of the former state power. So, it is clear everything cannot be resolved at once, but gradually, the investigation authorities will start the process in any case


- What are the approximate terms of commencement of the investigation and  the concrete results of raising the issue of accountability for offenders?


- It is difficult to determine the exact terms, but I think one month is enough to shape the concrete directions for all, at least for a certain part of  the cases to be investigated.  My opinion is that all who violated the law should be punished.


- It seems  somehow surprising that the “small bolts” of the regime still continue threatening and cha blackmailing, in conditions where the top officials are escaped from the county.


- They are told behind the scene : don’t worry, we’ll come soon back be keep strength. It seems to me that they believe  it is possible, therefore they continue the practice they were involved in the past. Perhaps, they cannot do otherwise


- Do you think the “National Movement” has even a theoretical chance to come back to the power?


- If a new government relaxes and weakens, then the chance becomes true, in a long-term prospect. but, I do not think that the disguise and hate accumulated in the society during nine years, will be disappeared in a year, as minimum. I want to say that regardless the intensity of attempts by Saakashvili’s team directed to discrediting the “Georgian Dream”,  the “National Movement” has no chance to win the forthcoming presidential elections; However, a certain probability that they will work actively with the foreign organizations, conduct sabotages to the new government, etc., exist. Therefore, the new leading team should work actively and make their best to perform all promises they were declaring during the pre-election period. We see now that the parliamentary minority manipulates with these issues. The Coalition must stop these attempts of the opposition as soon as possible. 


- To say shortly, do you think that the “National Movement” as  the political subject is not dead yet? Many people think so.


- No. of course. It is still alive, but is at death’s door, perhaps and, if the new government makes mistakes, the former state power may arise regardless the fact that they have support by people. You may remember how the Shevardnadze’s government was substituted, but thereafter, the situation became so grave that people started dream for the past. We must not exclude a repetition of the similar events.


- You are a candidate for the post of the ombudsman. If elected, what will you change in the system? 


- Now it is impossible to speak about such plans. No matter whether I am appointed of another candidates, first the situation must be looked through and assessed inside. Now we look at the structure from outside, so, it is not easy to make relevant conclusions. But still, I think the main attention should be concentrated on those current problems which are in the center of the society’s interest. Time will show what is to be done tomorrow or a day after tomorrow.


 


Interviewed by Jaba Zhvania  


 


 


 

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