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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07TBILISI2019 2007-08-13 08:29 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Tbilisi

DE RUEHSI #2019/01 2250829
P 130829Z AUG 07

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 TBILISI 002019 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/30/2012 
     B. TBILISI 932 
     C. TBILISI 1792 
     D. TBILISI 1242 
     E. TBILISI 1604 
Classified By: Charge d'Affaires Mark X. Perry, for reasons 1.4 (b) and 
1.  (C) Summary: On July 27, DAS Bryza and GoG Prosecutor 
General Adeishvili discussed judicial reform, Abkhazia, 
property issues and crime.  Adeishvili talked about the 
training of judges and implementation of the magistrate 
system, both of which are on track.  He cited great strides 
in the last year to clear a backlog of cases in pre-trial 
detentions. On Abkhazia, Adeishvili stated that the Abkhaz 
police did not show any interest in working with Georgian law 
enforcement in the Gali region to reduce crime.  On property 
rights, Adeishvili said that his organization stands ready to 
assist Greek property owners in Tsalka with their property 
claims.  With regards to the Batiashvili and Topuria cases, 
Adeishvili stated that the government of Georgia is within 
its rights to try the cases.  In both instances, there were 
links to organized crime.  Adeishvili said his organization's 
primary focus of combating organized crime has now evolved to 
fighting drug trafficking.  DAS Bryza praised the successes 
of the Prosecutor General's (PG) office in the last months: 
passage of the ex parte communications ban, achieving Tier 
One on the Trafficking in Persons Report, and hard work on 
the Criminal Procedure Code (CPC), which is anticipated to 
pass in Parliament in the fall. Bryza called for sustained 
progress in these areas, and assurance of due process in 
criminal cases. End Summary. 
Training for Judges 
2.  (C) Adeishvili told Bryza and Charge that beginning in 
September new judges will be trained at the High School of 
Justice (HSOJ) in line with Georgia's commitment to judicial 
reform, but some judges may be appointed to fill vacancies 
before then as they cannot wait 14 months (the time period of 
the curriculum) for the judges to be ready to assume their 
duties.  He noted progress in resolving corruption cases 
against judges:  of the previous 15 corruption cases against 
judges, only two are still ongoing.  Adeishvili expressed 
appreciation for the training that DOJ and USAID are 
providing and anticipated that even more will be needed in 
the future to get the magistrate system fully up and running. 
 He noted his appreciation for the training that Judge John 
Walker provided during his recent trip to Georgia. (Reftels 
3.  (C)  Adeishvili noted that the PG's office has made great 
strides in the last year to reform the judicial system and 
clear a backlog of cases in pre-trial detentions.  In 2005, 
70 per cent of those waiting for trial were in pre-trial 
detention, whereas in 2006 only 25 per cent were in pre-trial 
detention due to the use of bail.  He noted of the 18,000 
prisoners incarcerated, 1,000 of these are in pre-trial 
detention, 3,000 have been tried and are awaiting sentencing, 
and the remainder have already been sentenced. 
Batiashvili and Topuria Cases 
4. (C)  DAS Bryza pressed for due process in the Batiashvili 
and Topuria cases which have drawn international attention 
for alleged procedural violations. (Reftel D.)  With regard 
to the Topuria case, Adeishvili said the defendants' ties to 
organized crime necessitated the arrests and the decision to 
close the trial to the public.  Bryza raised the concern that 
although the GoG may have grounds to close the trial, this 
decision contributed to a perception in the international 
community that the cases were not transparent--something at 
odds with Georgian goals of joining the wider European 
community.  Adeishvili said that there was ample evidence 
with regard to the Batiashvili case to secure a conviction. 
Adeishvili noted that due process would be carried out in 
these and all cases. 
Abkhazia Investigation and Cooperation 
5.  (C) DAS Bryza told Adeishvili that Georgia fared well 
during the recent Group of Friends meeting in Bonn. (Reftel 
E.) The Western Friends reiterated strong support for 
Georgia's territorial integrity and for the Georgian 
Government's right and obligation to administer to the needs 
TBILISI 00002019  002 OF 002 
of its citizens in the Upper Kodori Valley.  It was a 
significant that the Joint Fact Finding Group report 
condemned the March 11 attack in the Upper Kodori Gorge and 
noted the use of helicopters in the attack.  Bryza called for 
decreased tension and renewed Georgian-Abkhaz police 
cooperation in the Gali district. Adeishvili was not hopeful, 
noting a high level of criminality on both sides of the 
Enguri and lack of Abkhaz interest in closer law enforcement 
ties. Adeishvili sa
id the incidence of Abkhaz kidnapping of 
ethnic Georgians is three times higher than last year. 
Property Issues 
6. (C) DAS Bryza raised the issue of Greek property rights 
and recuperation of property in the Tsalka region, southwest 
of Tbilisi.  Adeishvili relayed that the GoG has been active 
in working with the Georgian Diaspora in Greece to reclaim 
their property. The GoG committed to resolving the issue. 
Adeishvili said representatives from the EU and Greece have 
come to Georgia in connection with return of Greek 
7. (C) Bryza asked about reports of property confiscation in 
Tbilisi.  Adeishvili said his office no longer has any 
authority to look into repatriation of property that has been 
privatized.  (COMMENT:  In June 2007 a law was passed which 
made irreversible all property privatized before 1 April 
2007.  END COMMENT.) Adeishvili said his office has worked to 
return over one billion USD worth of property to its rightful 
owners since the current administration took office. 
Adeishvili pointed out that the opposition raised this issue 
often, but added that many members of the opposition were 
guilty themselves of having taken over property as 
caretakers, and then went to court and became owners of the 
property without having paid any money for the property. 
New Focus 
8. (C) Adeishvili said his office is making a major goal of 
lowering the homicide rate.  While crime rates overall have 
systematically fallen by 40 percent, he said homicide 
continues to be a problem for Georgia.  In comparison to 
Armenia (60-70 cases) and Azerbaijain (130 cases), Georgia's 
number of homicide cases is significantly higher (300 cases) 
per year.  Many murders appear to be related to drug 
trafficking.  He related that Georgia has a good grip on 
organized crime, and now needs to focus on drug use, a big 
social problem, and its associated crimes.  Adeishvili 
estimated that there are over 150,000 addicts in Georgia, 
although there are no official figures.  He relayed that when 
the PG's office implemented drug testing two years ago, 13 
percent of the personnel were deemed to be drug dependent. 
Adeishvili told Bryza about a recently publicized case of 
U.S.-Georgian cooperation in cracking a drug ring that 
originated in Colombia.  Several suspects were arrested in 
Odessa in connection with the confiscation of 250 kilograms 
of cocaine.  Adeishvili said he believed the drug ring had 
its nexus in Russia.  He praised FBI-Georgian law enforcement 
cooperation in making the Odessa arrest and is working to 
pinpoint the Georgian network affiliated with this ring. 
9. (U) DAS Bryza has approved this cable. 


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