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During the presentation of the 2014 Parliamentary Report of the Public Defender of Georgia, Ucha Nanuashvili stated: "For years, more than 100 lawyers were arrested. The majority of them is now free."

FactCheck

addressed the Supreme Court of Georgia in order to obtain information about the number of lawyers who were arrested in the previous decade. According to the information received from the Supreme Court of Georgia, 163 lawyers were arrested between 2003-2014. Five lawyers stood trial in the first six months of 2015. Of these lawyers (163 + 5), 93 of them were found guilty.

Table 1:

 Number of Lawyers Arrested during 2003-2015

 Year  Stood Trial Found Guilty
2003 4 -
2004 4 1
2005 6 3
2006 13 4
2007 15 12
2008 26 11
2009 23 12
2010 27 22
2011 27 16
2012 14 9
2013 3 2
2014 1 1
2015 (6 Months) 5 -
Source: Supreme Court of Georgia

FactCheck also contacted the Georgian Bar Association. According to the Association’s data, a total of 171 lawyers stood trial between 2003 and 2012 whilst a total of four lawyers stood trial during 2013-2014. The information obtained by FactCheck

demonstrates that the number of lawyers who stood trial decreased significantly from 2013.

Table 2:

 Number of Lawyers Arrested during 2003-2014

Year Quantity
2003 4
2004 4
2005 6
2006 14
2007 14
2008 35
2009 24
2010 29
2011 31
2012 10
2013 3
2014 1
Source: Georgian Bar Association

FactCheck

requested information from the Ministry of Corrections and the Supreme Court of Georgia with regard to lawyers who have been released from prisons in the last couple of years. However, neither of these organs has these statistics.

In order to determine the source of information upon which the Public Defender made his statement, FactCheck

contacted the Public Defender’s staff. According to the information of the Public Defender’s Press Service, there are no exact statistics on the number of lawyers who were released from prison in the last few years. However, many of them were released as a result of the amnesty in 2013. Apart from the amnesty, there were some isolated cases when lawyers were released from prisons but a unified database of similar statistics is unavailable. This information was confirmed by the Chair of the Georgian Bar Association, Zaza Khatiashvili. Mr Khatiashvili also confirmed that the large majority of imprisoned lawyers has been released. However, the Georgian Bar Association does not have information on an exact list of released lawyers.

Conclusion

According to the information of the Supreme Court of Georgia, 159 lawyers stood trial between 2003 and 2012. Of these, 90 were proven guilty. According to the information of the Georgian Bar Association, 171 lawyers stood trial in the period of 2003-2012.

Neither the Ministry of Corrections nor the Supreme Court of Georgia has information on the number of lawyers who were released from prison in the last few years. According to the clarification of the Public Defender’s staff, even though there are no exact statistics about the number of released lawyers, many of them were released as a result of the 2013 amnesty. The fact of the release of lawyers is also confirmed by the Chair of the Georgian Bar Association, Zaza Khatiashvili.

Therefore, FactCheck concludes that Ucha Nanuashvili’s statement is TRUE.

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