A conference on hate crimes held at the Office of the Prosecutor General of Georgia under the project of the Council of Europe and the European Union.
Participants of the meeting discussed the report on measures carried out by the Prosecutor’s Office of Georgia in terms of combating hate crimes.
The analysis of investigation and prosecution of hate crimes committed in 2016-2018 and the report on actions carried out to improve the qualification of investigators were presented at the conference.
Guest expert of the Council of Europe shared international experience in efficient investigation and criminal prosecution of hate crimes to the participants of the meeting.
It should be noted, that specializations was impemented in the prosecution service in 2018, prosecutors were selected who completed training courses and they will work on hate crime cases. Specialization of prosecutors will continue in 2019 too and it will include all territorial units of Georgia.
In 2016, a recommendation was devised with the support of the Council of Europe for prosecutors to apply Article 531 of the Criminal Code of Georgia in practice as an aggravating circumstance, which promoted the practice to determine and substantiate hate motives.
With the aim to implement the recommendation for prosecutors on hate crimes efficiently, a special questionnaire prescribing the instructions to interview/interrogate alleged victims, defendants and witnesses in hate crime cases was developed in 2017. Quality and efficiency of the actions carried out in order to identify the hate motive has been increased in criminal cases after employees of the Prosecutor’s Office were familiarized with the document.
Human rights protection and combating hate crimes is a priority for the Prosecutor’s Office and working in this regard shall be continued in 2019.