GYLA appealed to Tbilisi City Court on behalf of 16 individuals and requested the annulment of the prosecutor's decision refusing the victim’s status for those affected during the June 20-21 events. GYLA requests the court to invalidate the decision of the Prosecutor's Office and to render a decision granting the victim’s status to 16 persons injured on June 20-21. The court shall consider the application within 15 days.
The Investigative Unit of the Chief Prosecutor's Office of Georgia is investigating a criminal case concerning alleged exceeding of power (Article 333(3) (b) of the Criminal Code of Georgia) against the participants of the protest demonstration of June 20-21. GYLA applied to the Prosecutor General’s Office on 19 September 2019 to grant the victim’s status to 16 persons (including eight journalists), but the Prosecutor did not uphold the application, which was then appealed to the Superior Prosecutor. Likewise, the Superior Prosecutor dismissed the complaint and refused the victim's status.
The Prosecutor's Office notes that there are no grounds to grant the victim's status at this stage. It is of note that the Prosecutor's Office on the one hand confirms that "the specified persons were injured during the dispersal of the protest rally on June 20-21 and even the medical records / information obtained within the scope of the investigation confirm the facts of health damage sustained by the individuals", and on the other hand, does not deem it to be a sufficient ground for awarding the victim's status and is waiting for the expert reports to arrive. According to the Prosecutor's Office, in order to grant the victim's status, an expert examination shall determine the degree and mechanism of health injuries, as well as the specific circumstances and grounds for the use of active special means.
GYLA believes that the refusal of the Prosecutor's Office to grant the status to the persons injured on June 20-21 is unlawful and unsubstantiated. Pursuant to the law, a victim of a criminal offence can enjoy a range of rights, including access to case materials, initiation or termination of a prosecution, or challenging a decision on the initiation or termination of an investigation only if he or she is awarded the procedural status of the victim. Consequently, granting the victim's status at an early stage is of paramount importance in the protection of victims' rights.