On May 11, 2022, the final hearing was held in connection with the case of Nika Gvaramia, former Director General of Rustavi 2 Broadcasting TV Company Ltd. We would like to remind the public that on November 4, 2019, the Public Defender filed an amicus curiae brief with Tbilisi City Court relating to one of the episodes of the mentioned case. The document is based on key issues identified as a result of studying the case materials and reviews correlation between corporate-legal and criminal liabilities.
In the amicus curiae brief, the Public Defender indicates that the decision made by the manager of the enterprise (changing the terms of the contract, determining the amount of income), which was agreed with the owner of the enterprise, is considered a crime in the given case. According to the indictment, the director could have brought more income to the company but he did not do so, which is a crime.
The amicus curiae brief reviews the practices of the courts of the USA, UK, continental European countries and Georgia, according to which, such an entrepreneurial decision may not lead even to corporate liability, not to mention criminal liability. The decision made by the director might be to make less profit, but it might serve the best interests of the corporation and aim to insure against short-term or long-term risks.
In this case, corporate-legal liability should be ruled out, as the decision made by the director was not: (1) an action that was not agreed with partners (use of dominant position), (2) aimed at personal enrichment through fraud, and (3) risk analysis reasonably indicates that the move was in the best interests of the corporation. Moreover, criminal liability should also be ruled out, as the director has not committed a criminal action in order to make a profit. Clearly, changing the terms of the contract for the basic needs of the corporation does not constitute a crime.
Thus, the managerial decision made during the management of the enterprise cannot be evaluated without taking into account the specifics of the legal status of the director. The Public Defender hopes that this document will help the court fairly assess the case circumstances and make the right decision, taking into account the international experience and practice regarding the elements of director's responsibilities.
Today’s ruling, in the cases of Gvaramia, Iashvili, and Damenia, calls into question Georgia’s commitment to rule of law, and further demonstrates the fundamental importance of having an independent, impartial judiciary in Georgia. From its inception, this case has raised questions, including about the timing and the charges. The disturbing pattern of selective investigations and prosecutions targeting those in opposition to the current government undermines the public’s confidence in the police, prosecution, the courts, and the government itself. Particularly at this time, when Georgia has an unprecedented opportunity to advance its Euro-Atlantic integration, even the perception of politicized prosecution is detrimental. It is the United States’ firm position that a healthy democracy depends on ensuring judicial independence and protecting media freedom. That is why we have repeatedly called for the government to undertake comprehensive reforms to advance these fundamental democratic principles.
Statement of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia regarding the so-called elections in the occupied Tskhinvali Region/South OssetiaMonday, 11 April 2022 11:00
Such provocative actions are aimed to legitimize the illegal occupation of the Georgian regions and the ethnic cleansing of Georgians.
Given the illegal occupation of Georgia’s two regions and the occupying power exercising an effective control on the ground, the so-called elections cannot have any legal effect. The so-called referendum on unification with Russia recently announced by the Tskhinvali occupation regime will likewise be null and void as another illegal step taken towards annexation.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia calls on the Russian Federation to respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia and to comply with its international obligations, including the EU-mediated 12 August 2008 Ceasefire Agreement, and to reverse its illegal decision on recognition of so-called independence of the occupied regions.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia appeals to the international community to give a due assessment and take effective measures on the illegal step aimed to infringe on the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia.
Many parts of the global society is reacting to Russia's military invasion of Ukraine by denouncing Russian President Putin's decision of devastating attack and occupation of the Ukraine territory.
In his presidency, Putin used the military power to invade and control foreign territory including South Ossetia, Crimea of Ukraine, and now parts of the north, east and south of Ukraine, which all challenged the global security and stability.
On 28th, Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light (HWPL), a South Korea-based international NGO affiliated with the UN ECOSOC and Seoul Metropolitan Government, made a statement to advocate a global cooperation for peace.
Titled “Statement by Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light (HWPL) Regarding Russia and Ukraine”, it demands that Russia withdraw all military to its own territory, international community protect and accommodate refugees, and global youth unite for an anti-war movement and peace.
“Military aggression against a sovereign state cannot be a solution to any problem, and the perils of such war and violent conflict hit innocent citizens the hardest, including women, the youth, and children. … Russia must withdraw its forces back to its country … (and we) request all nations to demonstrate their love for humanity by offering help to refugees.”
HWPL has been seeking to construct a global network for peace by building solidarity among leaders and representatives from the field of politics, religion, youth, women and media in the world. Written by 580,000 citizens worldwide, HWPL in 2018 sent out "peace letters" urging the heads of states of 192 countries to demand their participation in cooperation for peace.
On February 26th, the White House announced through a statement that the European Commission, France, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom, Canada, and the United States will cooperate to execute an economic sanction to exclude Russia from the international financial system by removing selected Russian banks from the SWIFT.
Ukrainian forces are currently resisting against the Russian military with effective defense, and anti-war protests and voices in support of Ukraine through social media become more widespread throughout the world.
Department of Public Relations (International) HWPL
The statement of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia regarding the so-called parliamentary elections in the occupied Abkhazia regionMonday, 14 March 2022 12:21
These so- called elections fully contradict the fundamental norms and principles of international law and represent yet another futile attempt to legitimize the ongoing illegal occupation of the two regions being integral parts of Georgia. While hundreds of thousands of internally displaced persons and refugees are expelled from the Abkhazia region as a result of ethnic cleansing and the Russian occupying power exercises an effective control on the ground, these so-called elections cannot have any legal effect.
It is concerning that while the international community firmly supports Georgia's sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders, the Russian Federation continues actual annexation of Georgia's occupied territories through their integration into Russia's military, political, economic and social system. What adds further to the already difficult situation is the gross violation of the fundamental rights and freedoms of the population on the ground and discrimination of Georgians on ethnic lines. Even more alarming, against such background, is the fact that the international human rights and security mechanisms, as well as the EU Monitoring Mission are deprived of access to the occupied regions.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs appeals to the international community to duly assess and take effective action on this yet another illegal step aimed at violating Georgia's sovereignty and territorial integrity.
Statement of the heads of state or government, meeting in Versailles, on the Russian military aggression against Ukraine, 10 March 2022Friday, 11 March 2022 12:12
During the first day of the informal meeting, EU leaders adopted a statement on the Russian aggression against Ukraine. They discussed its consequences and the EU response.
1. Two weeks ago Russia brought war back to Europe. Russia’s unprovoked and unjustified military aggression against Ukraine grossly violates international law and the principles of the UN Charter and undermines European and global security and stability. It is inflicting unspeakable suffering on the Ukrainian population. Russia, and its accomplice Belarus, bear full responsibility for this war of aggression and those responsible will be held to account for their crimes, including for indiscriminately targeting civilians and civilian objects. In this respect we welcome the decision of the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court to open an investigation. We call for the safety and security of Ukraine’s nuclear facilities to be ensured immediately with the assistance of the International Atomic Energy Agency. We demand that Russia ceases its military action and withdraws all forces and military equipment from the entire territory of Ukraine immediately and unconditionally, and fully respects Ukraine’s territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence within its internationally recognised borders.
2. We commend the people of Ukraine for their courage in defending their country and our shared values of freedom and democracy. We will not leave them alone. The EU and its Member States will continue to provide coordinated political, financial, material and humanitarian support. We are committed to provide support for the reconstruction of a democratic Ukraine once the Russian onslaught has ceased. We are determined to increase even further our pressure on Russia and Belarus. We have adopted significant sanctions and remain ready to move quickly with further sanctions.
3. Countless people are fleeing the war in Ukraine. We offer temporary protection to all war refugees from Ukraine. We commend European countries, notably at the borders with Ukraine, for showing immense solidarity in hosting Ukrainian war refugees. The EU and its Member States will continue to show solidarity and provide humanitarian, medical and financial support to all refugees and the countries hosting them. We call for funds to be made available without delay through a swift adoption of the proposal on Cohesion’s Action for Refugees in Europe (CARE) and through ReactEU. We call on Russia to fully abide by its obligations under international humanitarian law. It must ensure safe and unhindered humanitarian access to the victims and internally displaced persons in Ukraine, and allow safe passage for those civilians who want to leave.
4. The European Council acknowledged the European aspirations and the European choice of Ukraine, as stated in the Association Agreement. On 28 February 2022, exercising the right of Ukraine to choose its own destiny, the President of Ukraine submitted the application of Ukraine to become a member of the European Union. The Council has acted swiftly and invited the Commission to submit its opinion on this application in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Treaties. Pending this and without delay, we will further strengthen our bonds and deepen our partnership to support Ukraine in pursuing its European path. Ukraine belongs to our European family.
5. The Council has invited the Commission to submit its opinions on the applications of the Republic of Moldova and Georgia.
On the second day, EU leaders will discuss how to strengthen European sovereignty, reduce dependencies and design a new growth and investment model.
The meeting is hosted by the French presidency and is chaired by Charles Michel, President of the European Council.
Statement of the heads of state or government
Statement by the President of Georgia - Today we are all grateful to Ukraine, which is fighting for our freedom!Wednesday, 02 March 2022 14:19
The dignity of Georgia has always been and still is that we have always stood by our principles and have stood, where Georgia should have!
No one expects us to take measures that would endanger the country, however, everyone expects solidarity from us – you are expecting it, so am I. This is why I am in Paris today and will be visiting Brussels tomorrow – to express Georgian solidarity to Ukraine.
At a time, when all of Europe is united, we too have to become part of this unity. Today, a new window opens, where Europeans are ready to look differently at the future of Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova. We have to be here and want everyone to remember (and this is why I am here) that Georgia, like Ukraine, is one of those countries that tomorrow will be part of Europe, of the Europe that today has showed its dignity with its unity and its active support for Ukraine.
Today, we are all grateful to Ukraine that is fighting for our freedom and we don’t want a different image of Georgia on the international arena.
We are the country that has historically always been faithful to its principles.
Statement by the President of Georgia
We are extremely concerned about the developments in Ukraine. Russia’s military actions undermine Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty as well as the UN Charter and fundamental principles of the international law that will have severe consequences not only for Ukraine, but also for the entire international community. We express strong solidarity with our friends, Ukrainian people and call on the international community to take all the necessary steps towards de-escalation and to stop the violence.
Georgia is following with concern the latest developments around Ukraine, which pose yet another serious challenge for the European and Global security.
Recognizing Ukraine’s territories - Donetsk and Lugansk as independent states by Russia represents yet another flagrant violation of the fundamental principles of international law, and in fact repeats the scenario of Russia’s military intervention into Georgia’s Tskhinvali region in 2008 and subsequent recognition of the independence of this region and of Abkhazia/Georgia, and their occupation.
Georgia unequivocally supports Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty. We express the hope that the international community will give its strict assessment and response to this yet another violation of the fundamental principles of international law, and to the absolutely unacceptable attempt to redraw forcefully the state borders in East Europe.
Statement of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on the statement made by the Russian Ministry of Foreign AffairsMonday, 13 December 2021 10:41
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs considers unacceptable the statement made by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, according to which the Russian Federation "considers it necessary to disavow the 2008 Bucharest Summit decision - that Georgia and Ukraine will become NATO members".
On April 3, 2008, at the NATO Bucharest Summit the leaders of the NATO member states decided that Georgia (and Ukraine) will become a NATO member. The above-mentioned is an extremely important, consensus-based political decision in line with the fundamental principle of international law that all states have the sovereign right to choose their own foreign policy course. Moreover, this decision is based on Article 10 of the North Atlantic Treaty, according to which any European state, which will further the principles of the Treaty and contribute to the security of the North Atlantic area can become a member of NATO.
NATO integration is a sovereign decision of Georgia, based on the unwavering will of the majority of the Georgian population. This goal is also enshrined in the Constitution of Georgia.
It should be noted that the 2008 Bucharest Summit decision was reiterated at all consequent NATO summits held after 2008. Furthermore, NATO 2021 Brussels summit communiqué underscored that the Allies consider it unacceptable for any third party to interfere in the determination of the countries’ foreign policy priorities.
According to all above-mentioned, any statement made by a third party regarding the revision of the Bucharest Summit decision, which is contrary to the fundamental principles and norms of international law, is unacceptable for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
At the same time, it should be emphasized that today the main challenge of the European and Euro-Atlantic security architecture are the actions of the Russian Federation, which has occupied and annexed the territories of neighboring sovereign states, neglected the basic principles of international law and has not fulfilled its own international obligations.