07TBILISI1130, CRIMINAL PROCEDURE CODE REPRESENTS FUNDAMENTAL SHIFT

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07TBILISI1130 2007-05-15 07:23 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Tbilisi

VZCZCXRO5206
RR RUEHDBU RUEHLN RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHSI #1130 1350723
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 150723Z MAY 07
FM AMEMBASSY TBILISI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 6342
INFO RUEAWJA/DOJ WASHDC
RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS TBILISI 001130 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR INL, EUR/ACE, EUR/CAC 
DOJ FOR OPDAT (LEHMANN/NEWCOMBE) 
 
E.O.  12958: N/A 
TAGS: SNAR PGOV OTRA KCRM KJUS GG
SUBJECT: CRIMINAL PROCEDURE CODE REPRESENTS FUNDAMENTAL SHIFT 
 
 
1.  Summary: In 2007, Georgia will enact a new Criminal Procedure 
Code ("CPC") that replaces the former Soviet-style of prosecution 
with a new approach that equalizes the government's obligation to 
prosecute cases with the responsibility to protect the public's 
rights.  This philosophical shift to a Western system which 
enshrines the protection of civil rights has been embraced 
throughout Georgia's political and law enforcement communities.  The 
CPC debate is now centered upon the best approach to implement the 
new system.  Balancing the interests of the citizen and the 
obligations of the state means that the Rule of Law in Georgia is 
supporting the Rose Revolution's fundamental societal changes.  End 
Summary. 
 
-------------- 
Stop and Frisk 
-------------- 
 
2.  Recent developments demonstrate that Georgia has rejected the 
Soviet-style prosecution memorialized in the former criminal 
procedure code with the CPC's new philosophy that balances the 
government's obligations with the public's rights.  On May 3-5, 
legislative stakeholders met to discuss changes to the CPC.  During 
the 3 day OPDAT/DOJ sponsored conference, they did not discuss 
whether to accept the CPC's philosophical changes and reject the 
former Soviet system of prosecution.  Instead, they discussed how to 
practically implement the CPC.  For example, they discussed the 
concept of "stop and frisk."  Soviet-style investigations allowed 
police officers to stop a suspect, seize him, transport him to a 
jail, and force him to make a statement.  "Stop and frisk," by 
contrast, balances an officer's obligation to investigate crime or 
potential crime with a citizen's right to privacy.  It permits a 
police officer who reasonably believes that a person has committed a 
crime or is about to commit a crime to stop the subject, pat down 
his outer clothing for officer safety, and question him for a 
"reasonable time" at the scene.  It does not, however, permit a 
police officer to seize the suspect, transport him to a jail, and 
force him to make a statement. 
 
3.  The legislative stakeholders' decision to include the "stop and 
frisk" concept is a balanced approach to the government's obligation 
and society's rights.  It puts society's rights on equal footing 
with the government's obligations.  This means that the legislative 
stakeholders have already accepted the CPC's philosophical changes 
to protect the public's rights and rejected the Soviet-style 
prosecution that favored the government's obligations. 
 
--------------------- 
Right to a Fair Trial 
--------------------- 
 
4.  In OPDAT/DOJ sponsored mock trials on April 19, prosecutors and 
judges put the CPC to the test.  Formerly, a Soviet-style 
prosecution allowed judges to question witnesses during the trial. 
Potentially, this created the appearance of bias and impropriety 
because the judge's questions might have favored the prosecution. 
The CPC balances the government's obligation to prosecute crimes 
with the public's right to a trial free from bias and the potential 
of impropriety by denying the judge the right to question witnesses. 
 Instead, the CPC shifts all advocacy obligations to the attorneys. 
Under the CPC, the attorneys - - not the judges - - question 
witnesses.  This means that the judge will be, both in appearance 
and fact, a fair and impartial arbiter of the law rather than an 
advocate for either side.  In the mock trials, the judges and the 
prosecutors did not question this philosophical change.  Instead, 
they adapted to their new roles.  Judges ruled on legal questions 
and prosecutors advocated. 
 
5.  Comment.  The Rose Revolution sought to put the public's rights 
on par with the government's obligations.  Efforts by the 
legislative and legal stakeholders to implement the CPC demonstrate 
that the Rule of Law has accepted this philosophical change.  The 
various interest groups have rejected the former Soviet-style of 
prosecution and now accept a system that balances the government's 
obligation to prosecute cases with the protection of the public's 
rights.  The final stage for the CPC will require all stakeholders 
to examine the code, identify implementation problems, and resolve 
these issues prior to the CPC's final passage into law.  End 
Comment. 
 
TEFFT

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