On 14 June 2013, during the address to the plenary session of the Parliament, Member of the United National Movement, Chiora Taktakishvili, stated that “a criminal case was launched against Giorgi Chiviashvili, Vano Merabishvili’s lawyer, just a few days after he started defending Mr Merabishvili.”FactCheck
decided to look into the factual details surrounding the claim.Giorgi Chiviashvili is a lawyer by training. He graduated from the Academy of the Ministry of Interior. In 2008-2010, he was the gamgebeli (
administrative head) of the Gurjaani Municipality and served as a Member of Parliament in the 7th Parliament in 2010-2011. From September 2011, he served as the District Prosecutor of the Kakheti region. Currently, he is a defence lawyer and Vano Merabishvili, the Secretary General of the UNM, is his client.FactCheck contacted Chiviashvili to inquire about the details of the claim and, particularly, about the “criminal case being launched” against him. During the conversation, the FactCheck
team found out that there were no criminal charges brought against him. However, investigation was indeed launched upon the concrete fact related to the purchase of property by Chiviashvili through an auction of sale.
According to Chiviashvili, he learned about the launch of the investigation from television.
According to the Criminal Procedure Code of Georgia, investigation is the first stage of the criminal process. At this stage, relevant mandated agencies receive information regarding the criminal act (preparation, attempt, accomplished crime) and launch the investigation. Launch of investigation is considered a form of reaction by the State to the concrete fact.
According to the Criminal Procedure Code of Georgia, presenting criminal charge against a person represents a cumulative action by the relevant entitled agency. The aim of such action is to expose the perpetrator and to ensure that the actions envisaged by the criminal legislation are taken against him.
It is important to distinguish between the launching of investigation (according to the old terminology – launching a criminal case) and launching of criminal prosecution. According to the Criminal Procedure Code, these two concepts differ from each other. The main difference is that in the case of investigation, investigative action is launched on the concrete criminal fact whereas the launch of criminal prosecution implies investigative action against a concrete individual.
According to Article 100 of the Criminal Procedure Code, information about the criminal act is a ground for launching the investigation whereas the cumulative evidence, which is sufficient to reasonably assume that the individual is guilty, is a ground for launching criminal prosecution.
Criminal prosecution entails pressing charges against or detaining an individual whereas the launching of investigation does not. Moreover, suspension of the criminal prosecution does not automatically mean the suspension of the investigation whereas the suspension of the investigation inevitably implies suspension of the criminal prosecution.
Conclusion In our conversation with Giorgi Chiviashvili, FactCheck
learned that there were no criminal charges brought against him. However, an investigation upon the concrete fact related to the purchase of property by Chiviashvili through an auction of sale was indeed launched.
As we showed above, launching criminal prosecution against an individual is different from launching an investigation on a concrete fact. However, it is also true that the investigation was launched on a concrete fact that involved Chiviashvili just few days after he became a lawyer of Vano Merabishvili.We conclude that the statement by Chiora Taktakishvili: “Criminal case was launched against Giorgi Chiviashvili, Vano Merabishvili’s lawyer, just a few days after he started defending Mr Merabishvili” is MOSTLY FALSE.