A statement of the GDI regarding the investigative subordination of the Mikautadze case

The Georgian Democracy Initiative calls on the Chief Prosecutor of Georgia to ensure that the investigation into the fact of illegal detention of Mamuka Mikautadze, inhuman and degrading treatment against him, and bringing him to suicide is conducted by the Prosecutor’s Office.

According to disseminated information, the investigation that has been launched into the fact of bringing Mamuka Mikautadze to suicide is being conducted by the General Inspection of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. At the same time, in accordance with Paragraph 2 of the July 7, 2013 Order No. 34 of the Minister of Justice of Georgia (“On Determining Investigative and Territorial Investigative Subordination of Criminal Cases”), a case is subordinate to the Prosecutor’s Office if the crime was allegedly committed by a police officer.

In the case of Enukidze and Girgvliani v. Georgia, the European Court of Human Rights noted: “For an investigation to be effective, the persons responsible for and carrying out the investigation must be independent and impartial, in law and in practice. This means not only a lack of hierarchical or institutional connection with those implicated in the events but also a practical independence. The effective investigation required under Article 2 serves to maintain public confidence in the authorities’ maintenance of the rule of law, to prevent any appearance of collusion in or tolerance of unlawful acts and, in those cases involving State agents or bodies, to ensure their accountability for deaths occurring under their responsibility.”[1]

Proceeding from the aforementioned, we believe that the investigation into the said case must be conducted not by the Ministry of Internal Affairs, within whose system the aforementioned crime was committed, but by the Prosecutor’s Office of Georgia. Conducting the investigation by the Prosecutor’s Office will increase the possibility that the investigation process is conducted impartially and enhance public confidence in it.

As made clear by the disseminated information, the investigation is now working only on the version of bringing the victim to suicide, which already gives rise to certain doubts about its adequacy. We consider it necessary that an investigation is also launched into the fact of illegal detention of Mikautadze and inhuman and degrading treatment against him, since, according to the information at our disposal, it was presumably such treatment that made him give a testimony, and after giving the testimony, he ended his life with suicide.