28 Jun 2022
The Head of the Special Investigation Service, Koka Katsitadze and the Deputy Head, Natia Songhulashvili held a working meeting with representatives of human rights organizations
The Head of the Special Investigation Service, Koka Katsitadze and the Deputy Head, Natia Songhulashvili held a working meeting with representatives of human rights organizations, which was organized within the framework of the CoE project “Human Rights Compliant Policing in Georgia (HRCPG)”.
Koka Katsitadze presented to the participants a guideline developed on the basis of the recommendation and practice of the National Court of Human Rights, which will provide not only an affected person but also any interested victim with the access to the criminal case materials on the violent crimes committed by the law enforcers.
It is noteworthy that this is the first precedent when an investigative body will allow potential victims without a victim status to access and share the criminal case materials.
Involving a possible victim in the criminal case investigation and providing him/her with comprehensive information about the progress of the investigation is an important component of conducting an effective, objective and impartial investigation.
"Today, we presented the guideline based on the recommendation and practice of the National Court of Human Rights to the human rights organizations. The Special Investigation Service sets a very important precedent, when not only a victim but also any interested citizen will be able to access and get acquainted with the materials of violent crimes committed by law enforcement officers. This will make the investigation process even more open and transparent,” said Koka Katsitadze.
According to the recommendations developed by the Special Investigation Service, the special terms and conditions are defined for the victim to get acquainted with the criminal case materials, as well as the procedure for providing information.
"The initiative of the Special Investigation Service is very important in terms of strengthening the protection of the victims' rights. GYLA's involvement in the process is important because often we act as victim rights defender organization and hope we will develop and continue future cooperation positively and observe the implementation of this document in practice, “said the representative of GYLA, Pati Chapidze.
"For us, as the Public Defender's Office, such initiatives are very important, because the Special Investigation Service should conduct the investigation as efficient as possible. This is really a step forward that will help the victims to protect their interests and legal rights as much as possible. We wish success to the Special Investigation Service in implementing such an initiative," said Gvantsa Chkhaidze, representative of the Public Defender's Office.
One of the main priorities of the Special Investigation Service since its inception has been to improve the legal status of affected citizens.
Recommendation 967 adopted at the meeting of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe on June 14, 2006 clarifies that the investigation should inform the victims about their rights, and the state should ensure access to the information about the criminal cases.
The Special Investigation Service developed a guideline on the protection and improvement of the rights of potential victims based on the recommendations and practice analysis of the European Court of Human Rights, which will enter into force in July 2022 upon its signing.
The meeting was attended by representatives of the Special Investigation Service, non-governmental organizations and the Public Defender's Office.