PM Irakli Garibashvili said on December 18 that government should consider “institutional reform” of the prosecutor’s office to increase its “independence” and “accountability.”
“I want to ask [the Justice Minister] Tea Tsulukiani to establish a working group that will work over this reform,” he said at a government session on Thursday morning.
“Working process will show us which model we will opt for. It would be premature now to speak any specific models. The most important is to establish institutionally balanced model, where prosecutors’ neutrality will be institutionally guaranteed and the principle of accountability protected,” he said.
“Prosecutor should be even more independent, but the issue of accountability should be clearly defined,” the PM said, adding that non-governmental organizations should be involved in the process of elaboration of reform.
He also told the Justice Minister to cooperate with former chief prosecutor Archil Kbilashvili, whose “non-governmental organization is working very actively over this issue.”
Garibashvili also said: “Our main goal is to establish prosecutor’s office as an efficient mechanism for fighting against crime, to strengthen it, and at the same time [prosecutor’s office] should serve the principle of rule of law.”
Draft of resolution on Georgia, which the European Parliament plans to pass on December 18 together with the ratification of the Association Agreement, expresses concern, among other issues, over “the lack of accountability of the prosecutor’s office.”
In late November, parliament speaker Davit Usupashvili, criticized lack of accountability of prosecutor’s office and said that mistakes have been made in this regard.
Although under the constitution prosecutor’s office is part of the Justice Ministry, with legislative amendments last year the Justice Minister was actually completely sidelined from overseeing prosecutor’s office.
“Let’s acknowledge that we have made some mistakes in this regard,” Usupashvili said on November 28. “We have actually cut all the links between the [justice] minister and the prosecutor’s office and received serious problems, because no one has been left who might be politically accountable about what is going on in that structure [prosecutor’s office].”
PM Garibashvili said on December 10 that the government would also consider reforming of the Interior Ministry with the view of possible separation of security and intelligences agencies from the ministry.