Europe Is No Authority for Georgia

On Tuesday, the European Court of Human Rights decided to abolish the moratorium it had earlier declared on the extradition of eight Chechens detained on the Russian-Georgian border in August. Georgian Deputy Minister of Justice Georgy Tskrialashvili says that the decision means that Russia and Georgia must settle the extradition problem themselves, on the basis of bipartite and international agreements (the Minsk Convention of 1993, which provides for the extradition of accused and convicted people). The reaction of Moscow to the European Court’s decision was rather reserved, as Moscow realizes perfectly well that everything currently depends upon the inclination or reluctance of the Georgian authorities to cooperate with Russia. It is highly probable that Georgia will be reluctant to cooperate with Russia, although it won’t dare to openly disagree to extradite the arrested Chechens to Russia. It is not ruled out that Georgia will delay the investigation process to a maximally long period (this includes identification of the detained people and studying of the materials provided by the Russian Prosecutor’s Office). Another Georgian Deputy Minister of Justice, Kakha Koberidze, said today: “We informed the detained Chechens of the decision of the Georgian party concerning extradition, and the people will have the right to appeal against the decision. According to the Georgian Code of Criminal Procedure, people subject to extradition have the right to appeal against the decision of the Prosecutor’s Office on extradition in a regional court, or further in the Supreme Court.”

Head of the press-service in the Georgian Prosecutor’s Office Dali Sadatierashvili told journalists that materials sent by the Russian Prosecutor’s Office to Tbilisi were not sufficient enough to extradite the detained Chechens to Russia. She said that more materials are coming soon; only when these additional materials are studied, the Georgian Prosecutor’s Office will consider the extradition problem closely.

Dmitry Chirkin PRAVDA.Ru

Translated by Maria Gousseva

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