Justice Minister Tea Tsulukiani, who according to the law is authorized to nominate chief prosecutor’s candidacy to the PM with the latter making appointment, said she’s not aware of ongoing consultations over potential candidates.
“Georgian Prime Minister is working on selecting chief prosecutor and I am not aware of names [of potential candidates] that might be under consideration,” Justice Minister Tea Tsulukiani told the Georgian Public Broadcaster on January 16.
Earlier on the same day, PM Irakli Garibashvili said at a news conference that consultations were still ongoing on selecting new chief prosecutor – the post which became vacant on December 30 after Otar Partskhaladze stepped down because of scandal over his past criminal conviction in Germany.
Asked if the Justice Minister is also involved in consultations, PM Garibashvili responded: “Yes, everyone. There are several options; we want to name a dignified candidate.”
It was Garibashvili, who first made the public announcement on November 8 about intention to have Partskhaladze as chief prosecutor; at the time Justice Minister Tsulukiani said that she did not personally knew Partskhaladze, but added that she trusted Garibashvili’s choice.
A group of eight civil society organizations expressed regret that the Justice Minister is “sidelined” from selecting new chief prosecutor and called on the PM and the Justice Minister to show more responsibility while addressing this important issue.
“Law stipulates the Justice Minister to assume responsibility in selecting a candidacy for chief prosecutor… Remarks of the Justice Minister indicate that despite of stipulation set by law, she is sidelined from the process,” reads the statement, adding that it suggests on the PM’s intention “to unilaterally select” new chief prosecutor.
It says that controversy over former chief prosecutor’s past conviction, as well as accusations that he had fake law diploma, demonstrated importance of selection and appointment process.
The statement is signed by Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association; International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy; Transparency International Georgia; Georgian Democracy Initiative; Georgian Bar Association; Article 42 of the Constitution; Human Rights Education and Monitoring Center; Civil Development Agency.