Loading

On air on Rustavi 2, the Foreign Affairs Secretary of the United National Movement, Giga Bokeria, talked about the issue of court verdicts. Mr Bokeria commented upon the statement of the Head of the Human Rights and Civil Integration Committee of the Parliament of Georgia, Eka Beselia, who said that the rate of not guilty verdicts in Georgia used to be 0.1% and that this rate has increased under the new government. According to Giga Bokeria: "It is a serious lie that the number of not guilty verdicts has increased. This is false and you can see the statistics of the Supreme Court of Georgia for yourself which indicate that the number of not guilty verdicts has decreased." According to his statement, the number of not guilty verdicts dropped as compared to 2011, 2012 and 2013, amounting to just 1.5% in 2014.

FactCheck

took interest in Giga Bokeria’s statement and verified its accuracy.

Statistical data about the number of cases considered by the courts can be found on the official website of the Supreme Court of Georgia. According to the data for the first nine months of 2015, the overall number of cases considered by the courts equalled 3,532 (including 3,986 individuals). Of this, the number of not guilty cases was 83 (2.3%) whilst the number of those partly justified was just 70 (2.0%).

Table 1:

 Number of Cases Considered by the Courts (2014-2015, Nine Months)

Not Guilty Verdicts
Year Number of Cases Considered Not Guilty  % Partly Justified %
2015 3,532 83 2.3 70 2.0
2014 3,248 56 1.7 67 2.1
Source: Supreme Court of Georgia

As the above table makes clear, the number of not guilty verdicts increased by 27 as compared to the same period of 2014 according to the data of the first nine months of 2015 whilst the number of those partly justified increased by three.

The number of not guilty verdicts from 2007 to 2014 looks like this:

Table 2: 

Number of Not Guilty Verdicts from 2007 to 2014

Not Guilty Verdicts
Year Number of Cases Considered Not Guilty % Partly Justified %
2007 9,344 9 0.1 - -
2008 8,645 21 0.2 183 2.1
2009 6,720 9 0.1 75 1.1
2010 3,495 7 0.2 30 0.9
2011 1,854 47 2.5 19 1.0
2012 1,149 90 7.8 14 1.2
2013 1,813 37 2.0 42 2.3
2014 4,655 76 1.6 90 1.9
Source: Supreme Court of Georgia

As the table reflects, the lowest rate of not guilty verdicts (0.1%-0.2%) was recorded in the period from 2007 to 2010. It increased to 2.5% in 2011. The percentage of not guilty verdicts tripled in 2012 and reached 7.8%. This indicator dropped significantly in 2013 and equalled 2.0%. The rate of not guilty verdicts decreased even further to 1.6% in 2014. According to the data of the first nine months of 2015, the percentage of not guilty verdicts increased by 0.6%, amounting to 2.3% of the overall number of cases considered by the courts.

Conclusion

The share of not guilty verdicts in the overall number of cases considered by the courts (4,655) was 1.6% in 2014. This is definitely lower than the data of 2013, 2012 and 2011. It should also be noted that when talking about not guilty verdicts, Giga Bokeria speaks about the data from 2011 to 2014 and leaves out the statistics for the first nine months of 2015. According to the data of the first nine months of 2015, the percentage of not guilty verdicts increased by 0.6%, amounting to 2.3% of the overall number of cases considered by the courts. In her statement, Eka Beselia mentioned the lowest percentage rate of 0.1% and said nothing about the data of 2011 and 2012 when the share of not guilty verdicts increased to 2.5% and 7.8%, respectively. In addition, she also avoided mentioning the decreasing number of not guilty verdicts in recent years.

FactCheck concludes that Giga Bokeria’s statement is MOSTLY TRUE.