Georgia is building a case to file a lawsuit against Russia in the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) over the alleged abuse of Georgians’ rights who have been deported from Russia in recent months. However, the lawsuit will be filed only after “strong evidence” is gathered and after a “political decision” is made by the Georgian leadership, Georgian Justice Minister Gia Kavtaradze said in an interview with the Georgian daily Rezonansi (Resonance) published on February 6.
“We will file a lawsuit if we are confident that we will win the case. We have numerous facts of xenophobia at our disposal; however, a fact in itself does not mean evidence,” Gia Kavtaradze said.
“We have questioned deportees, recorded their testimonies; but these facts now need to be backed by strong evidence,” he added.
The Justice Minister reiterated these statements at a news conference after the government’s session on February 6.
The remarks triggered opposition lawmakers to assume that the Georgian authorities have stepped back from their initial intentions to file a lawsuit against Russia.
“I do not understand what additional evidence the authorities need. We have about 3 000 deportees and we know that at least 400 of them were residing in Russia legally and were paying taxes,” MP Gia Tsagareishvili from the opposition Industrialists Party, who is member of the parliamentary commission that was set up to probe into deportation cases, said.
“The Georgian leadership’s decision to give up plans to file a lawsuit against Russia is part of a deal. As time goes by, we learn more and more about the details of a meeting between President Saakashvili and President Putin in Minsk [last November],” MP Kakha Kukava from the opposition Conservative Party told the Rezonansi.