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Ombudsman wants better protection against confiscation

by | Aug 15, 2012

TBILISI, DFWatch – Georgia’s Public Defender requests to give the owners of confiscated property the right to appeal the seizure.

The current Criminal Procedure Code does not allow someone to appeal such action by authorities. The ombudsman’s office now says that during the last months a number of people came to them with pleas saying that their property rights had been illegally restricted by the seizure of their property or bank accounts.

“At the same time, the Public Defender, on his own initiative, started studying several high-profile cases that were connected to seizure of satellite dishes under the ownership of Global Consulting and Maestro Studio, as well as the seizure of bank accounts of different natural and legal persons,” the ombudsman’s statement says.

The ombudsman’s review revealed that property and bank accounts have been seized from persons who were not parties to a criminal investigation. The Criminal Procedure Code only gives the right to appeal a seizure to a party.

The ombudsman considers this a violation of constitution’s 42th article, the right to a fair trial, and the 21th, the right to property.

The public defender asks parliament to amend the legislation and give owners the right to appeal such a decision by a court.

“This will create an effective means for owners to defend their rights in court if seizure is applied on the basis of a demand of a law enforcement body.”

One of the latest noisy cases is the fining of former AC Milan player Kakhi Kaladze, who has joined Bidzina Ivanishvili and his opposition Georgian Dream coalition. Kaladze’s bank accounts were seized, but he was denied an appeal because he wasn’t charged.

 



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