CRIMINAL PROCEDURE CODE OF GEORGIA

CRIMINAL PROCEDURE CODE OF GEORGIA
Document number 1772
Document issuer Parliament of Georgia
Date of issuing 09/10/2009
Document type Law of Georgia
Source and date of publishing LHG, 31, 03/11/2009
Registration code 090.000.000.05.001.003.644
Consolidated publications
1772
09/10/2009
LHG, 31, 03/11/2009
090.000.000.05.001.003.644
CRIMINAL PROCEDURE CODE OF GEORGIA
Parliament of Georgia
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Consolidated versions (16/11/2023 - 15/12/2023)

 

 

LAW OF GEORGIA

CRIMINAL PROCEDURE CODE OF GEORGIA

 

General Part

 

Section I

Criminal Procedure Legislation and Principles

 

Chapter I – Criminal Procedure Legislation, its Objectives and Scope

 

Article 1 Purpose of the Code

This Code establishes rules for criminal investigation, prosecution and rendering of justice.

 

Article 2 – Procedure for applying the criminal procedure law; law analogy

1. The procedural rules that are in force at the time of an investigation and a court hearing shall be applied during criminal proceedings.

2. The amendments made to the Criminal Procedure Law shall result in the annulment or change of the previously adopted procedural act, provided that this improves the condition of the accused (convicted person).

3. If there is a defect in the legislation of Georgia, the criminal procedure rules may be applied by analogy, unless this restricts the human rights and freedoms provided for by the Constitution and treaties of Georgia.

4. Regardless of the place of commission of a crime, criminal proceedings shall be conducted in the territory of Georgia according to the legislation of Georgia.

5. The criminal procedure legislation of Georgia shall also apply to crimes committed abroad on a sea vessel flying a Georgian flag or on an aircraft bearing the national insignia of Georgia, unless otherwise provided for by treaties and international agreements of Georgia.

51. The criminal procedure legislation of Georgia shall be applied to the territory of a diplomatic mission or a consular office of Georgia abroad, unless otherwise determined by the international agreements of Georgia.

6. Subject to treaties and international agreements of Georgia, the criminal procedure legislation of Georgia may also be applied in the territory of a foreign country.

7. A citizen of Georgia enjoying diplomatic immunity, as well as his/her family members residing abroad, shall be subject to the jurisdiction of the criminal procedure legislation of Georgia, unless they voluntarily consent to the application of the criminal procedure legislation of the country of their location.

8. When executing a request of a court or investigative authority of a foreign state for carrying out a procedural action in the territory of Georgia, the criminal procedure legislation of that state may also be applied where so provided for by a treaty of Georgia.

Law of Georgia No 3157 of 20 July 2018 – website, 6.8.2018

 

Article 3 – Definition of basic terms for the purposes of this Code

1. Minor – person who has not attained the age of 18.

2. Close relative – a parent, an adoptive parent, a child, a foster child, a grandfather, a grandmother, a grandchild, a sister, a brother, a spouse (including a divorced spouse).

3. Family member – a spouse, a minor child or a stepchild, a cohabitant.

4. Legal representative – a close relative, a guardian, a care giver, a supporter who participates in a criminal proceeding involving a minor, a person with disabilities, if, due to their health status, they are not able to defend themselves, also a beneficiary of support, unless otherwise provided for by a court decision.

5. Party – the accused, a convicted person, an acquitted person, their defence lawyer, an investigator, a prosecutor.

6. The prosecution – an investigator, a prosecutor.

7. The defence – the accused, a convicted person, an acquitted person, their defence lawyer.

8. Convicted person – a person against whom a court has passed a judgment of conviction.

9. Defence lawyer – a person who defends the interests of the accused, convicted, acquitted persons and provides them with legal aid in accordance with the law.

10. Investigation – a combination of actions taken under this Code by an authorised person for the purpose of collecting evidence relating to a crime.

11. Probable cause – a totality of facts or information that, (together) with the totality of circumstances of a criminal case in question, would satisfy an objective person to conclude that a person has allegedly committed a crime; an evidential standard for carrying out investigative actions and/or for applying measures of restraint directly provided for by this Code.

111. Evidence sufficient for delivering a judgment of conviction without a hearing on the merits – evidence that would convince an objective person that the accused has committed a crime, taking into account the fact that the accused acknowledges the crime, does not contest the evidence provided by the prosecution and relinquishes the right to have the case heard on the merits by a court.

12. High probability – a guiding standard for a judge when making a decision whether or not to transfer a case for hearing on the merits at a preliminary hearing, which is based on the body of mutually compatible and convincing evidence presented at the hearing and which is sufficient for a high probability to pass a judgment of conviction on the case in question.

13. Beyond reasonable doubt – a totality of evidence required for a court to pass a judgment of conviction, which would convince an objective person of the culpability of the person.

14. Judgment – a decision of a court of first instance, of a court of appeal or of a court of cassation under which the accused person is found guilty of committing a crime or is acquitted.

15. Ruling – a court decision (other than a judgment and an order) on any issue.

16. Decree – a decision of an investigator, a prosecutor on any issue.

17. Night – a period of time from 22:00 to 6:00.

18. Valid reason – non-appearance of a participant in criminal proceedings due to his/her illness, the death of a close relative, other specific objective circumstances which, for the reasons beyond his/her control, make it impossible to appear at the trial. The fact of illness shall be confirmed by a document issued by a duly authorised representative of a medical facility, and signed and stamped by an authorised person, and shall directly indicate the inability (of the person) to appear at the trial. The valid reason the existence of which is known in advance shall be notified to the court at the earliest available opportunity but not later than 48 hours before the commencement of the trial. A document confirming the valid reason for non-appearance shall be submitted within five days after the non-appearance.

19. The accused – a person against whom there is a probable cause suggesting that he/she has committed a crime provided for by the Criminal Code of Georgia.

20. Witness – a person who may know the facts required for the establishment of circumstances in a criminal case. A person shall acquire the status and the rights and powers of a witness after being warned about criminal liability and after taking an oath.

21. Expert – a natural person with special knowledge, skills and experience who, under this Code, has been invited by a party (to the proceedings) or by a court upon the party’s motion to carry out an expert examination and prepared a conclusion with respect to a criminal case. In addition, an expert shall assist the parties and the court in finding, examining and demonstrating evidence.

22. Victim – the State, a natural or a legal person that has incurred moral, physical or material damage directly as a result of a crime.

221. Coordinator of a witness and a victim – a person providing support to a witness/a victim during proceedings.

23. Evidence – information or an item, a document, substance or any other object containing the information submitted to the court in the manner prescribed by law, which parties use in a court to prove or refute certain facts and make their legal evaluation, perform duties, protect their rights and lawful interests, and which a court uses to establish whether there exists a fact or an act because of which a criminal proceeding is conducted, whether a certain person has committed a certain act and whether or not a person is guilty, also to establish circumstances that affect the nature and degree of liability of the accused, and characterise the person. A document is considered to be evidence if it contains information required for the establishment of factual and legal circumstances of a criminal case. Any source in which information is recorded in the form of words and signs and/or photo, film, video, sound or other recordings, or through other technical means, shall be considered a document.

24. Testimony of a witness – information on the circumstances of a criminal case provided by a witness to a court.

25. Material evidence – an item, a document, substance or any other object, which, by its origin, place and time of discovery, characteristics and the traces remained on it, is related to the factual circumstances of a criminal case and may be used as a means for detecting a crime, establishing an offender or denying or confirming the charges, as well as a pre-marked and/or fake (simulated) item, document, substance or any other object used in carrying out a controlled delivery as provided for by Article 7(21) of the Law of Georgia on Operative-Investigative Activities.

26. Place of investigation – a place where the administrative building of an investigative authority is located.

27. Computer system – any mechanism or a group of interconnected mechanisms which, through a software, automatically processes data (including a personal computer, any equipment with a microprocessor, as well as a mobile phone).

28. Computer data – information displayed in any form convenient for processing in a computer system, including software that ensures the operation of the computer system.

281. Unified tracking system of mobile communication equipment – the unified tracking system of mobile communication equipment as provided for by Article 2(z77) of the Law of Georgia on Electronic Communications.

29. Service provider – any natural or legal person that provides users with an opportunity to interact through a computer system, as well as any other person that processes or stores computer data on behalf of such communication services or of the consumers of such services.

30. Internet traffic data – any computer data related to communications and generated by a computer system that are part of a communications chain and that indicate the source of communication, destination, direction, time, date, size, duration and type of the basic service.

31. Object of a covert investigative action – a person in relation of whom a covert investigative action is carried out.

32. For the purposes of Chapter XVI1 of this Code, a state body with an appropriate authority:

a) when covert investigative actions provided for by Article 1431(1)(a-d) of this Code are carried out – the Legal Entity under Public Law – the Operative-Technical Agency of Georgia (‘the Agency’), which is a body with an exclusive authority to carry out covert investigative actions;

b) when covert investigative actions provided for by Article 1431(1)(e) and (f) of this Code are carried out – an appropriate state body carrying out a covert investigative action, within the scope of its competence.

321. (Deleted – 30.12.2021, No 1314).

33. Retrieval and recording of information from a communication channel – the retrieval and recording by a state body with an appropriate authority of current, transmitted, received, collected, processed or accumulated information from electronic communication (electronic mail), communication network, telecommunication or information systems by using technical means and/or software tools.

34. Retrieval and recording of information from a computer system – the retrieval and recording by a state body with an appropriate authority of information transmitted and received from a computer system, as well as of current, collected, processed or accumulated information in a computer system by using technical means and/or software tools.

35. Real-time geolocation identification – the real-time identification of the geographical location of mobile communication equipment with a maximum possible accuracy.

36. Covert eavesdropping and recording of telephone communication – the covert eavesdropping and recording of telephone communication performed through common usage electronic communication networks and means of a person authorised under the Law of Georgia on Electronic Communications.

37. Technical identifier of an object of a covert investigative action – the identification data of communication equipment used by an object of a covert investigative action (any data that allow the individual identification of communication equipment, or help in its individual identification (including a telephone number, internet protocol address (IP address), International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI), International Mobile Subscriber Identity (IMSI), MAC address, etc.)), or a user name.

38. Initial investigation the examination, first of all, by the prosecution of items, documents, things, substances, or any other objects containing information, which have been obtained at the request of the defence, familiarisation with their content, and the conduct of an expert examination or other investigative actions in regard to these materials before the similar right is enjoyed by the defence.

Law of Georgia No 3616 of 24 September 2010 – LHG I, No 50, 24.9.2010, Art. 328

Law of Georgia No 741 of 14 June 2013– website, 27.6.2013

Law of Georgia No 2517 of 24 July 2014 – website, 6.8.2014

Law of Georgia No 2870 of 30 November 2014 – website, 30.11.2014

2018 – website Law of Georgia No 3358 of 20 March 2015 – website, 31.3.2015

Law of Georgia No 3955 of 8 July 2015 – website, 15.7.2015

Decision of the Constitutional Court of Georgia No 1/1/625, 640 of 14 April 2016 – website, 22.4.2016

Law of Georgia No 476 of 22 March 2017 – website, 27.3.2017

Law of Georgia No 755 of 4 May 2017 – website, 24.5.2017

Law of Georgia No 2270 of 4 May, 21.5.2018

Law of Georgia No 3276 of 21 July 2018 – website, 9.8.2018

Law of Georgia No 4265 of 27 December 2018 – website, 29.12.2018

Law of Georgia No 4604 of 8 May 2019 – website, 8.5.2019

Law of Georgia No 5186 of 17 October 2019 – website, 23.10.2019

Law of Georgia No 5621 of 19 December 2019 – website, 26.12.2019

Law of Georgia No 1314 of 30 December 2021 – website, 13.01.2022

Law of Georgia No 1575 of 24 May 2022 – website, 6.6.2022

 

Chapter II – Principles of Criminal Proceedings

 

Article 4 – Inviolability of personal dignity

1. A judge, a prosecutor, an investigator and other participants in criminal proceedings shall, at every stage of the proceedings, be obliged to ensure the inviolability of personal dignity and private life of the participants in proceedings.

2. It shall be inadmissible to exert influence upon the free will of a person by using torture, violence, cruel treatment, deception, medical intervention, hypnosis, or any other measures that affect the human memory or thinking. It shall also be inadmissible to use threats or to promise any privileges not provided for by law.

3. In the context of criminal proceedings, coercion may be used only in cases and in the manner prescribed by law.

 

Article 5 – Presumption of innocence and liberty

1. A person shall be considered innocent unless his/her culpability has been established by final judgment of conviction.

2. No one shall be obliged to assert his/her innocence. The burden to prove the charges shall lie with the prosecutor. A prosecutor may dismiss the charges.

3. A suspicion arising during the assessment of evidence that cannot be confirmed in the manner prescribed by law shall be resolved in favour of the accused (convicted person).

4. A person shall be free, except when the necessity of his/her detention is proved.

 

Article 6 – Inadmissibility of unlawful restriction of a person’s constitutional rights and freedoms

1. Constitutional rights and freedoms of a participant in criminal proceedings may only be restricted on the basis of special provisions of the Constitution of Georgia and of this Code.

2. Only a court shall have the right to recognise a person as an offender and to impose a sentence on him/her.

3. Preference shall always be given to the most lenient form of restriction of rights and freedoms.

 

Article 7 – Inviolability of private life in criminal proceedings

1. During an investigation, a party may not arbitrarily and unlawfully interfere with the personal life of other persons. The inviolability of private or other property or of private communication performed by any means shall be guaranteed by law.

2. A person carrying out a procedural action shall not disclose information on a (person’s) personal life, nor private information that the person considers necessary to keep confidential.

3. A person who suffered damage as a result of unlawful disclosure of information regarding his/her private life/personal data, shall have the right to be fully indemnified for the damage under the legislation of Georgia.

Law of Georgia No 2634 of 1 August 2014 – website, 18.8.2014

 

Article 8 – Fair trial and expediency of justice

1. The accused (the convict or the acquitted person) shall have a right to a fair trial.

2. The accused shall have the right to the expediency of justice within the time limits prescribed by this Code. A person may relinquish this right if so required for the appropriate preparation of the defence.

3. A court shall prioritise the review of the criminal case in which detention has been applied against the accused as a measure of restraint.

 

Article 9 – Equality of arms and adversarial principle

1. Upon the commencement of a criminal prosecution, criminal proceedings shall be carried out based on the equality or arms and adversarial principle.

2. Any of the parties (to the proceedings) may, under this Code, file a motion, obtain, request through a court, submit and examine all the relevant evidence.

 

Article 10 – Publicity and oral nature of a hearing

1. A hearing, as a rule, shall be public and oral. A hearing may be closed only where so provided for by this Code.

2. All decisions delivered by a court shall be publicly announced.

3. ( Deleted 18.1.2013, No 205 ).

4. Photo, film, video, shorthand or audio recording in a court building or a courtroom shall be performed in compliance with the procedure provided for by the Organic Law of Georgia on Common Courts.

Law of Georgia No 205 of 18 January 2013 – website, 28.1.2013

Law of Georgia No 583 of 1 May 2013 – website, 20.5.2013

 

Article 11 – Conduct of criminal proceedings in the state language

Criminal proceedings shall be carried out in the Georgian language, and in the Autonomous Republic of Abkhazia, also in the Abkhazian language. A participant in proceedings who has no or appropriate command of the language of the criminal proceedings shall be assigned an interpreter in the manner provided for by this Code.

 

Article 12 – Legality and independence of the judiciary

1. A person shall only be judged by the court within the jurisdiction of which, under the law, falls the review of the person’s case.

2. Only a prosecutor may initiate a criminal prosecution under this Code.

3. The procedure for the investigation of a criminal case and judicial hearing provided for by the criminal procedure legislation of Georgia shall be uniform across the entire territory of Georgia and shall be mandatory for all participants in criminal proceedings.

4. In cases provided for by this Code, the lawful interests of a person shall take precedence over the public interest of solving the case and punishing the offender. The protection of a person’s lawful interests in criminal proceedings serves the public interest.

 

Article 13 – Evidence

1. Evidence shall not have any pre-determined force.

2. The confession of the accused, unless corroborated by any other evidence that proves the person’s guilt, shall not be sufficient to pass a judgment of conviction against the accused. A judgment of conviction shall be based only on a body of consistent, clear and convincing evidence that, beyond reasonable doubt, proves the culpability of a person .

(The normative content of the second sentence of Article 13(2) providing for the possibility of passing a judgment of conviction based on the evidence – an indirect testimony determined under Article 76 of the same Code (version of 14 June 2013) has been declared invalid) – Decision of the Constitutional Court of Georgia No 1/1/548 of 22 January 2015 – website, 4.2.2015

 

(From 1 July 2021, the normative content of the second sentence of Article 13(2), which allows for the possibility to use the illegal item seized as a result of a search, has been declared invalid, provided that the possession of the seized item by the accused is confirmed only by the testimony of an employee of a law enforcement body, and the employees of a law enforcement body could, but did not take appropriate measures to obtain neutral evidence proving the credibility of the search) Decision of the Constitutional Court of Georgia No 2/2/1276 of 25 December 2020 website, 30.12.2020

(The normative content of the second sentence of Article 13(2), which, in passing a judgment of conviction, provides for the use as evidence of the testimony of an employee of a law enforcement body that relies on an operative source (‘confidant’, ‘informant’) or on information provided by an anonymous person) Decision of the Constitutional Court of Georgia No 2/2/1276 of 25 December 2020 website, 30.12.2020

3. Where search or seizure has been carried out in accordance with the procedure established by Article 112(1) or (5) of this Code on the basis of an anonymous notification or information received from a secret collaborator (confidant)/informant defined in the Law of Georgia on Operative-Investigative Activities, and an illegal item, thing or substance has been seized, this may serve as a basis for passing a judgment of conviction, provided that the possession of the illegal item, thing or substance by the person is proved by evidence other than the testimony of an investigator conducting this investigative action, the testimony of an investigator participating in the investigative action, the testimony of a person with operative-investigative functions, participating in the investigative action, and a record of the respective investigative action. This rule shall apply where other evidence cannot be objectively obtained/produced.

Note: For the purposes of this article, ‘an illegal item, thing or substance’ shall mean an explosive device, an explosive substance, a weapon or ammunition provided for by the Law of Georgia on Weapons, a substance under special control provided for by the Law of Georgia on Narcotic Drugs, Psychotropic Substances and Precursors and Narcological Assistance, or a substance provided for by the Law of Georgia on New Psychoactive Substances, the possession, purchase, storage, carriage or transportation and carrying of which constitutes a crime.

Law of Georgia No 3616 of 24 September 2010 – LHG I, No 50, 24.9.2010, Art. 328

Decision of the Constitutional Court of Georgia No 1/1/548 of 22 January 2015 – website, 4.2.2015

Decision of the Constitutional Court of Georgia No 2/2/1276 of 25 December 2020 website, 30.12.2020

Law of Georgia No 706 of 28 June 2021 – website, 29.6.2021

 

Article 14 – Direct and oral examination of evidence

1. Evidence shall not be presented to a court (jury), unless the parties had the equal opportunity to examine it directly and orally, except as provided for by this Code.

2. A party may request to personally interrogate a witness and present him/her own evidence at the hearing.

 

Article 15 – Right to refuse testimony

No one shall be obliged to testify against oneself or other persons specified in this Code.

 

Article 16 – Discretionary nature of criminal prosecution

When making a decision to initiate or terminate a criminal prosecution, a prosecutor shall exercise discretionary powers and take into consideration the public interests.

 

Article 17 – Bringing charges based on a probable cause

1. Charges shall be brought against a person if there is a probable cause indicating that he/she has committed a crime.

2. Charges against a person may only be brought by a prosecutor.

 

Article 18 – Impermissibility of repeated arrest, accusation and conviction (double jeopardy)

1. A person may not be arrested repeatedly based on the same evidence and/or the same information.

2. A person may not be charged with and/or convicted of a crime for which he/she once already been acquitted or convicted.

Law of Georgia No 741 of 14 June 2013 – website, 27.6.2013

 

Section II

Participants in Criminal Proceedings

 

Chapter III – Court

 

Article 19 – Court as a judicial body

1. A court is the only state authority that is entitled to render justice, hear criminal cases and deliver a lawful, substantiated and fair judgment.

2. Administration of justice may not be refused. A court shall, in accordance with this Code, review criminal cases, motions or appeals according to its jurisdiction.

 

Article 20 – Powers of a court

1. Unless a criminal case is heard by a jury at first instance, it shall be heard by a district (city) court of first instance.

2. It shall be within the powers of a magistrate judge of a district (city) court to pass a court ruling on the carrying out of investigative actions with regard to the restriction of a person’s constitutional rights and the application of coercive measures, to decide the issue of applying a measure of restraint against the accused, to consider a complaint lodged against the unlawful actions of an investigator and/or prosecutor in cases provided for by this Code, as well as to exercise other powers provided for by this Code. A decision on the issues provided for by this paragraph shall be made by a magistrate judge of a district (city) court within the territorial jurisdiction of which an investigative or procedural action will be or has been carried out. In cases directly provided for by this Code, a decision may be made by another magistrate judge. The issues falling within the jurisdiction of a magistrate judge under this Code may, in the case of absence of the magistrate judge, or when the place of investigation does not coincide with the place of commission of the crime, be reviewed by another magistrate judge, or by a judge of the respective district (city) court according to the place of investigation.

3. An appeal lodged against a decision made on issues falling within the jurisdiction of a magistrate judge under paragraph 2 of this article shall be considered by the investigation panel of a court of appeal.

4. An appeal against a judgment of a district (city) court or of a magistrate judge, or against any other final court decision, shall be considered by an appellate chamber of a court of appeal.

5. A cassation appeal against a judgment of a court of appeal, or against any other final court decision, shall be considered by the Chamber of Criminal Cases of the Supreme Court of Georgia.

6. A criminal chamber of a court of appeal shall, in cases and in the manner prescribed by this Code, consider appeals against final judgments passed by the common courts of Georgia, and appeals regarding the revision of any other final court decisions due to newly revealed circumstances.

Law of Georgia No 3616 of 24 September 2010 – LHG I, No 50, 24.9.2010, Art. 328

 

Article 21 – Territorial jurisdiction

1. A criminal case shall be heard in a court according to the place where the accused was brought before the court.

2. A judge shall find out whether a plea bargain has been entered into between the parties, and whether a motion has been filed requesting the court to pass a judgment without a hearing on the merits. If a motion is filed, a judge shall act under Chapter XXI of this Code.

3. A motion for approving a plea bargain entered into between the parties during the investigation shall be reviewed by a court according to the place of completion of the investigation.

4. Upon a motion of a party, the chairperson of the court of higher instance may transfer a criminal case for review to another court according to the location of the majority of victims and witnesses participating in the case, or for any other reason relating to bearing less procedural expenses.

5. If a court establishes that a criminal case does not fall within its jurisdiction, it shall, under a ruling, refer the case to another court of relevant jurisdiction.

6. A dispute over the jurisdiction shall be resolved by the chairperson of a court of higher instance.

Law of Georgia No 3891 of 7 December 2010 – LHG I, No 67, 9.12.2010, Art. 418

 

Article 211 – Territorial jurisdiction of a jury

There shall be juries at Tbilisi, Kutaisi, Batumi and Rustavi city courts and at Zugdidi, Telavi and Gori district courts. Their territorial jurisdiction shall be defined by a decision of the High Council of Justice of Georgia.

Law of Georgia No 5591 of 24 June 2016 – website, 13.7.2016

 

Article 22 – Composition of courts

1. A judge of a district (city) court or a magistrate judge shall deliver a decision on a criminal case sitting alone.

2. When the number of judges at a district (city) court is sufficient to hear a case by a panel of judges, the chairperson of the court before which the criminal case is bending may rule that the case be heard by a panel composed of three judges, if the hearing and resolution of the case is essential to the judicial practice, or the case is particularly complex in factual or legal terms, except when a case is heard by jury.

3. In cases provided for by this Code, a criminal case shall be heard by a district (city) court with the participation of jury and a judge.

4. A judge of the investigation panel of a court of appeal shall consider an appeal sitting alone.

5. A criminal case shall be heard on appeal at a criminal chamber of a court of appeal by a panel composed of three judges.

6. Appeals against judgments and other final decisions of district (city) courts with regard to less serious and serious criminal cases may be heard on appeal by a judge of a criminal chamber of a court of appeal.

7. A cassation appeal shall be reviewed at the Chamber of Criminal Cases of the Supreme Court of Georgia by a panel composed of three judges or at the Grand Chamber, by a panel composed of nine judges.

8. All judges of a court panel shall have equal rights to participate in the decision-making.

9. If a criminal case is triable by a jury and the accused evades appearing in the court, the court shall hear the case in his/her absence, without the participation of the jury.

 

Article 23 – Presiding judge

The presiding judge shall direct the court session, the course of the judicial deliberation, allow the parties to freely submit and examine evidence, ensure the keeping of order and exercise other powers prescribed by this Code.

 

Article 24 – Secretary of the court session

1. A secretary of the court session shall check whether a person summoned to the hearing has appeared, and report to the court; at the request of the presiding judge, read publicly procedural documents; keep record of the court hearing.

2. A secretary of the court session shall be obliged to record fully and accurately in the record of the court hearing the actions and decisions of the court, as well as the actions, statements, motions, testimonies and explanations of all participants in the hearing. When preparing record of the court hearing, the secretary may use shorthand, voice recorder or other technical means.

3. A court may consider the remarks of the parties with respect to the record of the court hearing without inviting the parties. A secretary of the court session shall provide written explanations.

 

Article 25 – Adversary proceedings and equality of arms

1. A court shall be obliged to provide the parties with equal opportunities to protect their rights and lawful interests without giving preference to either of them.

2. A court shall be prohibited from independently obtaining and examining evidence that proves the guilt or supports the defence. The collection and presentation of evidence is the responsibility of the parties. In exceptional cases, a judge may, after obtaining consent of the parties, ask clarifying questions if so required for ensuring a fair trial.

(The normative content of the third sentence of Article 25(2), which limits the ability of a judge hearing the case to ask questions, has been declared invalid) Decision of the Constitutional Court of Georgia No 3/2/1478 of 28 December 2021 – website, 30.12.2021

3. Before passing a judgment or any other final court decision, a judge may not express their opinion as to the guilt or innocence of the accused (convicted person).

4. If both parties participate in a court hearing, the court shall also hear the opinion of the other party regarding a motion or complaint of one of the parties.

Decision of the Constitutional Court of Georgia No 3/2/1478 of 28 December 2021 – website, 30.12.2021

 

Article 26 – Court request

1. If a procedural action cannot be carried out at the place of the hearing of a criminal case, the court may task another court of the same or lower instance with carrying out that action.

2. The procedure for filing a court request with a court or investigative authority of a foreign country shall be determined by an agreement on legal aid entered into between Georgia and that state.

 

Article 27 – Composition of a jury

1. A jury shall be composed of 12 jurors and 2 substitute jurors, except in cases specified in this Code.

2. A jury shall be composed of at least six jurors for cases of less serious crimes, of at least eight jurors, for cases of serious crimes, and of at least ten, for cases of particularly serious crimes.

 

Article 28 – Social guarantees of jurors (prospective jurors)

1. Jurors and prospective jurors shall have the right to be timely indemnified by the State for all the expenses that are directly related to the performance of their duties. The amount of compensation for daily allowances, travel expenses and other direct expenses shall be determined by the High Council of Justice of Georgia. The court shall, with their consent, provide the jurors with dedicated vehicles for their transportation from their respective places of residence or places of stay to the relevant court and back.

2. While acting as jurors, the employed persons shall retain their work positions and wages.

3. (Deleted – 28.6.2021, No 707).

Law of Georgia No 3616 of 24 September 2010 – LHG I, No 50, 24.9.2010, Art. 328

Law of Georgia No 5170 of 28 October 2011 – website, 11.11.2011

Law of Georgia No 5591 of 24 June 2016 – website, 13.7.2016

Law of Georgia No 707 of 28 June 2021 – website, 29.6.2021

 

Article 29 – (Eligibility) requirements for jurors

A person may act as a juror at a trial if he/she:

a) is registered with the database of the Civil Registry of Georgia as a person aged over 18;

b) has a command of the language of the criminal proceedings;

c) resides in eastern or western Georgia depending on the part of Georgia where the district (city) court before which the proceedings are pending is situated;

d) does not have such disability as to prevent him/her from performing the duties of a juror.

Law of Georgia No 3616 of 24 September 2010 – LHG I, No 50, 24.9.2010, Art. 328

Law of Georgia No 5591 of 24 June 2016 – website, 13.7.2016

Law of Georgia No 6842 of 14 July 2020 – website, 28.7.2020

 

Article 30 – Incompatibility

A person may not act as a juror in a criminal proceeding if there are any grounds provided for by this Code for challenging the juror, and/or he/she is:

a) a public official;

b) a prosecutor;

c) an investigator;

d) a police officer;

d1) an employee in the system of the State Security Service of Georgia;

e) a defence lawyer;

f) an active military service person;

g) a clergy member;

h) a participant in criminal proceedings in the case in question;

i) the accused;

j) a person, on whom an administrative penalty has been imposed for abusing narcotic drugs in small quantity, and less than one year has passed since the moment when the administrative penalty was imposed on him/her;

k) previously convicted.

Law of Georgia No 5591 of 24 June 2016 – website, 13.7.2016

Law of Georgia No 6735 of 2 July 2020 – website, 7.7.2020

 

Article 31 – Refusal to perform the duties of a juror

1. A person may refuse to act as a juror:

a) if, over the past one year, he/she has already acted as a juror;

b) if he/she carries out the work which is related to the protection of human life, health or civil safety, and his/her substitution in a specific period and circumstance is impossible or will cause substantial damage, as evidenced by the body of mutually compatible and convincing information. This rule may apply to persons carrying out other work of special importance only in exceptional cases;

c) due to his/her health status;

d) if he/she has been staying in a foreign country for a long period or intends to go abroad;

e) if he/she is aged over 70.

2. The court shall be obliged to individually consider the legitimate interests of the jury. The court shall be released from this obligation if the good protected by the legitimate interests of the jury is less than the damage caused to justice or to a third person. In such case, the person shall not be released from his/her duties of a juror.

Law of Georgia No 3616 of 24 September 2010 – LHG I, No 50, 24.9.2010, Art. 328

Law of Georgia No 707 of 28 June 2021 – website, 29.6.2021

 

Chapter IV – Prosecutor; Investigator

 

Article 32 – Prosecutor’s Office

The Prosecutor’s Office is a prosecuting authority. To ensure the performance of this function, the Prosecutor’s Office shall provide procedural guidance. The Prosecutor’s Office shall, in cases and in the manner prescribed by this Code, undertake full-scale investigation of a crime and support the state prosecution in court.

 

Article 33 – Prosecutor

1. A prosecutor shall exercise its powers on behalf of the State. A prosecutor shall act as a public prosecutor in court. He/she shall bear the burden of proof for the prosecution.

2. When exercising his/her powers in a court, a prosecutor shall be independent and bound only by the law.

3. A superior prosecutor may annul or amend unlawful and/or unsubstantiated decisions made by a subordinate prosecutor, or replace them with new decisions.

4. A prosecutor shall be obliged to participate in a court hearing.

5. During the investigation carried out under this Code, the execution of a prosecutor’s decree shall be mandatory.

6. A prosecutor may:

a) in accordance with investigative jurisdiction, task a certain law enforcement body or investigator with the investigation of a criminal case; transfer a case from one investigator to another investigator. The General Prosecutor of Georgia or a person authorised thereby may, regardless of the investigative jurisdiction, withdraw a case from one investigative authority and transfer it to another investigative authority; remove a subordinate prosecutor from the procedural guidance over the investigation and assign his/her functions to another prosecutor;

b) participate in (individual) investigative actions or conduct personally a preliminary full-scale investigation;

c) give binding instructions to an employee of a law enforcement body and/or to a subordinate prosecutor during the investigation;

d) request individual criminal files or the entire criminal case;

e) file a motion with a court to obtain a court ruling on applying, changing or annulling a measure of restraint with respect to the accused, and on taking investigative and/or operative-investigative actions that restrict human rights, or in other cases specified by this Code;

f) annul a decree of an investigator or a subordinate prosecutor;

g) terminate a criminal prosecution and/or investigation or suspend a criminal prosecution;

h) make a decision on a complaint against an action and/or decree of an investigator, and provide necessary explanations to the court if that action or decree is appealed to a court;

i) change the charges;

j) enter into a plea bargain with the accused and file a motion with a court requesting the passing of a judgment against the accused without hearing the criminal case on the merits;

k) present evidence in a court and participate in the consideration of its admissibility;

l) file a motion with the court to request evidence from private persons during the investigation;

m) request and receive without delay from state agencies documents or any other material evidence;   

n) issue a decree on the conduct of search for the accused (convicted person);

o) recognise a person as a victim and explain to him/her his/her rights and duties;

p) exercise other powers prescribed by this Code.

Law of Georgia No 3616 of 24 September 2010 – LHG I, No 50, 24.9.2010, Art. 328

Law of Georgia No 3814 of 30 November 2018 – website, 13.12.2018

 

Article 34 – Investigative authorities

1. Criminal cases shall be investigated by the investigators of the investigative divisions of the Ministry of Justice of Georgia, the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia, the Ministry of Defence of Georgia, the Ministry of Finance of Georgia, the State Security Service of Georgia, the Special Investigation Service and the system of the Prosecutor’s Office of Georgia.

2. Regardless of their departmental affiliation, all investigators shall have equal rights and duties and all investigative actions carried out by them under this Code shall have equal legal effect.

3. An investigator who is not personally involved in the investigation of a criminal case may, upon instructions of a prosecutor, carry out all investigative actions prescribed by this Code with regard to the case in question.

Law of Georgia No 3616 of 24 September 2010 – LHG I, No 50, 24.9.2010, Art. 328

Law of Georgia No 4424 of 11 March 2011 – website, 17.3.2011

Law of Georgia No 4731 of 3 June 2011 – website, 22.6.2011

Law of Georgia No 1797 of 13 December 2013 – website, 28.12.2013

Law of Georgia No 3955 of 8 July 2015 – website, 15.7.2015

Law of Georgia No 3126 of 5 July 2018 – website, 11.7.2018

Law of Georgia No 3276 of 21 July 2018 – website, 9.8.2018

Law of Georgia No 4604 of 8 May 2019 – website, 8.5.2019

Law of Georgia No 1314 of 30 December 2021 – website, 13.01.2022

 

Article 35 – Investigative jurisdiction

An investigative jurisdiction shall be determined by the General Prosecutor of Georgia, unless otherwise determined by law.

Law of Georgia No 662 of 30 May 2013 – website, 24.6.2013

Law of Georgia No 3276 of 21 July 2018 – website, 9.8.2018

Law of Georgia No 3823 of 30 November 2018 – website, 13.12.2018

 

Article 36 – Territorial investigative jurisdiction

Territorial investigative jurisdiction shall be determined by the General Prosecutor of Georgia, unless otherwise determined by law.

Law of Georgia No 662 of 30 May 2013 – website, 24.6.2013

Law of Georgia No 3276 of 21 July 2018 – website, 9.8.2018

Law of Georgia No 3823 of 30 November 2018 – website, 13.12.2018

 

Article 37 – Investigators

1. An investigator is a state servant or a public officer who is authorised to investigate a criminal case within his/her powers. A prosecutor who is personally involved in the investigation shall have the status of an investigator.

2. An investigator shall be obliged to conduct an investigation thoroughly, fully and impartially.

3. An investigator shall be obliged to follow the instructions of a prosecutor with regard to the investigation of a criminal case. If an investigator does not agree with the prosecutor’s instructions, he/she may submit the case and his/her opinions in writing to a superior prosecutor. A superior prosecutor may annul the instructions of a subordinate prosecutor or task another investigator with the investigation. A decision of a superior prosecutor on the issue shall be final.

4. An investigator shall be obliged to execute a court judgment.

5. A decree issued by an investigator under this Code shall be binding.

6. If there are grounds established by law, an investigator may:

a) carry out all investigative and other procedural actions prescribed by this Code, except for the actions that fall within the powers of a prosecutor;

b) give written instructions to the relevant body to bring arrested and detained persons to the place of investigation;

c) request the carrying out of investigative actions, revision, inventory taking, inspection and submission of documents;

c1) submit a request to an electronic communication company under the Law of Georgia on Electronic Communications, which provides mobile communication networks and means and/or services, for identifying the fact of activation of mobile communication equipment appropriated as a result of the alleged commission of a crime, and for immediately notifying the identification of the fact of its activation and, also, if necessary, submit a request to the electronic communication company under this sub-paragraph for blocking the mobile communication equipment appropriated as a result of the alleged commission of a crime, and for immediately notifying that it has been blocked;

d) summon an interpreter, an expert, or a person who is to be identified;

e) if a complaint is lodged with respect to his/her actions and decisions, submit, without delay, the complaint and materials of the criminal case to the prosecutor responsible for the procedural guidance, or to the court;

f) request the prosecutor responsible for the procedural guidance to give an investigative assignment to another investigator;

f¹) in order to reopen a criminal case, apply in writing to the relevant body or agency and request the provision of necessary materials and/or information, as well as carry out full-scale procedural actions;

g) exercise other powers prescribed by this Code.

Law of Georgia No 3616 of 24 September 2010 – LHG I, No 50, 24.9.2010, Art. 328

Law of Georgia No 3891 of 7 December 2010 – LHG I, No 67, 9.12.2010, Art. 418

Law of Georgia No 4378 of 27 October 2015 – website, 11.11.2015

Law of Georgia No 164 of 21 December 2016 – website, 28.12.2016

Law of Georgia No 1575 of 24 May 2022 – website, 6.6.2022

 

Chapter V – The Accused; Defence Lawyer

 

Article 38 – Rights and obligations of the accused

1. Upon arrest, or if a person is not arrested, immediately upon his/her recognition as the accused, also before any interrogation, the accused shall be notified, in the language that he/she understands, of the crime provided for by the Criminal Code of Georgia in the commission of which he/she is reasonably suspected. The accused shall be handed over a copy of a record of his/her arrest, or if he/she is not arrested, a copy of a decree to prosecute as the accused.

2. Upon arrest, or if a person is not arrested, immediately upon his/her recognition as the accused, also before any interrogation, the accused shall be informed that he/she may use the services of a defence lawyer, remain silent and refuse to respond to questions, exercise the right against self-incrimination, and that everything the accused says can be used against the accused, and that he/she may undergo a free medical examination upon detention, if he/she so requests, as soon as he/she is transferred to the relevant facility.

3. If the accused evades the appearance before a law enforcement body, a copy of a decree to prosecute as the accused shall be handed over to his/her defence lawyer, which shall be considered as bringing of charges.

4. The accused may use the right to silence any time. If the accused prefers to remain silent, this may not be considered as evidence proving his/her culpability.

5. The accused may choose a defence lawyer and use his/her services, also may replace the defence lawyer any time, or if he/she is indigent, a defence lawyer may be assigned to him/her at the expense of the State. The accused shall have reasonable time and means for the preparation of the defence. The relationship between the accused and his/her defence lawyer shall be confidential. No restrictions may be imposed on the communication between the accused and his/her defence lawyer in such a way to impede the due performance of the defence.

6. The accused may refuse to use the services of a defence lawyer, and defend himself/herself on his/her own for which he/she shall be provided sufficient time and means. The accused may not refuse the services of a defence lawyer if there is a case of mandatory defence established under this Code.

7. The accused may: independently or through a defence lawyer, carry out an investigation, lawfully obtain and provide evidence in the manner provided for by this Code; request the carrying out of investigative actions and provision of evidence that is required to refute the charges or to mitigate the liability; participate in the investigative actions carried out on his/her personal and/or his/her defence lawyer’s motion; request attendance of the defence lawyer during the investigative action carried out by him/her.

8. The accused may, during the conduct of an interrogation and other investigative actions, use the services of an interpreter at the expense of the State if he/she has no or insufficient command of the language of the criminal proceedings, or has such disability as to not allow him/her to communicate without using sign language.

9. The accused may, upon arrest or detention, request a free medical examination and obtain the relevant written conclusion. This right of the accused shall be exercised immediately. The accused shall also be authorised, in accordance with the legislation of Georgia, to undergo a medical examination at any time and at his/her own expense with the participation of an expert of his/her choice.

10. The accused may, upon arrest or detention, inform his/her family members or close relatives about the arrest or detention and about his/her location and also notify creditors and other natural or legal persons with respect to whom he/she has legal obligations.

11. The accused may, by way of civil/administrative proceedings, request and obtain compensation for the damage caused as a result of the unlawful procedural action.

12. Detention as a measure of restraint shall not be imposed on the accused, except when there exists a risk that he/she will abscond, continue criminal activities, exert pressure on witnesses, destroy evidence, or a risk of non-enforcement of the judgment.

13. The accused and his/her defence lawyer may, within the limits and in the manner prescribed by this Code, inspect the evidence of the prosecution and obtain copies of evidence and materials of a criminal case.

14. The accused may: participate in the investigation of his/her charges, also in a court hearing, directly or indirectly, by using technical means; file motions and challenges; examine the evidence of the defence in the same conditions as those in which the evidence of the prosecution is examined; inspect the appeal filed by the party and express his/her opinion on it; examine the record of the court hearing and make remarks on them.

15. The accused may, in cases and in the manner provided for by this Code, appeal the actions of an investigator to a prosecutor, appeal the actions and decisions of a prosecutor to a superior prosecutor, and, in cases provided for by this Code, to a court. The accused/convicted person may appeal a court decision and request a copy of the appealed decision.

16. The list provided in this article shall not restrict the right of the accused to exercise all other rights granted under the legislation of Georgia and treaties.

17. The accused shall have the right not to participate in investigative actions.

18. The exercise or failure to exercise his/her rights by the accused may not be considered as evidence proving his/her culpability.

Law of Georgia No 3616 of 24 September 2010 – LHG I, No 50, 24.9.2010, Art. 328

Law of Georgia No 3891 of 7 December 2010 – LHG I, No 67, 9.12.2010, Art. 418

Law of Georgia No 6392 of 5 June 2012 – website, 19.6.2012

Law of Georgia No 6842 of 14 July 2020 – website, 28.7.2020

 

Article 39 – Right of the accused to obtain evidence

1. The accused may obtain evidence at his/her own expense, on his/her own and/or through a defence lawyer. The evidence obtained by the accused shall have the same legal effect as the one obtained by the prosecution.

2. If such investigative or other procedural actions are required to obtain evidence that the accused or his/her defence lawyer are not able to carry out alone, he/she shall have the right to file a motion with the judge, according to the place of investigation, requesting the passing of the relevant ruling. The judge shall be obliged to take all measures to make sure that the prosecution is not informed about the obtaining of evidence by the defence.

 

Article 40 – Restriction of the right of the accused to be present

1. When interrogating a witness, a judge may deny the accused the right to attend the hearing if one of the special measures of protection of a witness are applied.

2. The accused shall be timely notified of the time and place of investigative actions which are to be carried out upon his/her or his/her defence lawyer’s motion. The accused may not, without valid reason, request to postpone the investigative actions. If the accused has been detained and uses the services of a defence lawyer, the defence lawyer shall be present during such investigative action, except when the accused is required to participate personally in that investigative action. If the accused and/or his/her defence lawyer are not notified, within reasonable period, of the time and place of the investigative actions, the investigative actions shall not be carried out, and the evidence obtained as a result of such investigative actions shall be considered inadmissible.

3. If a defence lawyer does not participate in the ordered investigative action with a valid reason, the prosecutor shall be obliged to postpone, only once and for a reasonable period, the investigative action in which the defence lawyer should have participated, but no longer than five days. Upon the expiry of this period, the prosecutor shall carry out an investigative action without the participation of the defence lawyer, unless there is a case of mandatory defence provided for by this Code. Non-appearance of a defence lawyer shall not result in the postponement of an urgent investigative action.

 

Article 41 – Hiring of a defence lawyer by the accused

A defence lawyer shall be selected and hired by the accused or, according to the will of the accused, by his/her close relative or any other person. An investigator, prosecutor, or a judge may not recommend any defence lawyer. The accused (his/her close relative, any other person) and his/her defence lawyer shall regulate their interactions based on a contract.

 

Article 42 – Impermissibility of a court hearing upon motion of the accused or convicted person

1. It shall be impermissible to adjourn a court hearing on the grounds of replacing a defence lawyer if it serves to prolong and impede the court hearing.

2. It shall be impermissible to adjourn a court hearing when a defence lawyer is not able to perform the duties of defence for a long period, if this causes the prolongation and obstruction of the court hearing.

3. If a defence lawyer of the accused or of the convicted person fails to appear at the court without a valid reason, which the court deems to prolong the hearing, the court shall be entitled to mandatorily assign a defence lawyer to the accused or convicted person, which does not restrict the right of the accused or convicted person to invite a defence lawyer of his choice. Upon the appearance of the defence lawyer of the accused or convicted person’s choice at the court, the defence lawyer assigned mandatorily shall be removed from the case hearing if the accused or the convicted person so requests.

4. If a defence lawyer of the accused or convicted person fails to appear at a court without a valid reason, the court hearing shall be adjourned for not more than 10 days. If, after the expiry of that period, the defence lawyer fails again to appear at the court, the procedure prescribed by paragraph 3 of this article shall apply.

5. A court decision provided for by this article shall be substantiated.

Law of Georgia No 741 of 14 June 2013 – website, 27.6.2013

 

Article 43 – Confidentiality of communication between the accused and his/her defence lawyer

1. The communication between the accused and his/her defence lawyer shall be confidential and unrestricted.

2. The communication of a person with his/her potential defence lawyer, occurring before the person is recognised as the accused, shall also be confidential.

3. The communication of the arrested or detained accused person with his/her defence lawyer may only be restricted by means of visual surveillance.

 

Article 44 – Legal status of a defence lawyer

1. A defence lawyer shall use all lawful means and instruments to establish the circumstances that acquit the accused and/or mitigate his/her liability. A defence lawyer may not act contrary to the instructions and interests of the accused. A defence lawyer also may not file or withdraw an appeal against the will of the accused with respect to the charges and the sentence, except when the accused has such disability as to make it impossible to obtain his/her consent.

2. A defence lawyer shall present his/her (appointment) order and certificate to be allowed to participate in a criminal case.

3. A defence lawyer may, within the limits and in the manner provided for by this Code, examine evidence of the prosecution, obtain copies of the evidence and materials of a criminal case, including (witness) examination records; a defence lawyer may also enjoy all rights of the accused and other rights of the defence specified by this Code. A defence lawyer cannot enjoy the rights which, based on their nature, only the accused may enjoy.

4. A defence lawyer shall be obliged to timely appear at the place of procedural actions and at the court.

Law of Georgia No 741 of 14 June 2013 – website, 27.6.2013

Law of Georgia No 3715 of 12 June 2015 – website, 24.6.2015

Law of Georgia No 6842 of 14 July 2020 – website, 28.7.2020

 

Article 45 – Mandatory defence

It shall be mandatory for the accused to have a defence lawyer:

a) if the accused is a minor;

b) if the accused has no command of the language of the criminal proceedings;

c) if the accused has such disability as to prevent him/her from defending himself/herself;

d) if a ruling (decree) has been issued on the assignment of a forensic psychiatric examination;

e) if for the act committed the Criminal Code of Georgia prescribes life imprisonment as a sentence;

f) if negotiations on the conclusion of a plea bargain with the accused are in progress;

g) if the criminal case is reviewed by a jury;

h) if the accused evades to appear before law enforcement bodies;

i) if the accused has been expelled from a courtroom;

j) if the accused is an unidentified person;

j1) if the issue of his/her extradition to a foreign country using a simplified procedure is under consideration;

k) in cases directly provided for by this Code.

Law of Georgia No 3157 of 20 July 2018 – website, 6.8.2018

Law of Georgia No 6842 of 14 July 2020 – website, 28.7.2020

 

Article 46 – Defence at the expense of the State

1. The State shall bear the costs of the defence if:

a) the indigent accused requests the assignment of a defence lawyer;

b) there is a case of mandatory defence specified by this Code and a defence lawyer hired by the accused is not participating in the criminal case (defence by agreement).

2. In the case provided for by paragraph 1 of this article, the prosecution or the judge shall be obliged to immediately apply to the relevant legal aid agency and request the assignment of a defence lawyer at the expense of the State.

3. In the case provided for by paragraph 1 of this article, the accused may apply to the relevant legal aid agency and request the assignment of a defence lawyer at the expense of the State.

4. If the defence is undertaken at the expense of the State, the State shall, in the manner prescribed by the legislation of Georgia, also bear other necessary defence costs if they are directly related to the performance of self-defence by the accused.

5. The procedure for the selection and assignment of a defence lawyer at the expense of the State shall be determined by the Law of Georgia on Legal Aid.

Law of Georgia No 6549 of 22 June 2012 – website, 4.7.2012

 

Chapter VI – Witnesses and Other Participants in Criminal Proceedings

 

Article 47 – Witness

When testifying before a court, an investigator, a prosecutor, an accused, a victim, an expert and an interpreter shall also have the status, and the rights and obligations of a witness.

 

Article 48 – Taking an oath by a witness

1. A witness shall take a religious or non-religious oath before a court.

2. Before administering an oath, the court shall explain to the witness the importance of the oath, and the liability provided for by Articles 370 and 371 of the Criminal Code of Georgia.

3. When administering a religious oath, the judge shall address the witness with the following words:

‘Swear before the omnipotent and omniscient God that, with all your conscience, you will only tell the truth and conceal nothing’.

A witness shall answer:

‘I swear. So help me God!’.

4. When administering a non-religious oath, the judge shall address a witness with the following words:

‘Swear that, with all your conscience, you will only tell the truth and conceal nothing’.

A witness shall answer:

‘I swear!’.

5. If a witness states that due to his/her faith or other circumstances he/she refuses to take an oath, then he/she shall testify by affirmation that replaces the oath. A judge shall address the witness:

‘Do you affirm before the court with full understanding of your responsibility that you will tell only the truth and conceal nothing?’.

The witness shall answer:

‘Yes, I do!’.

6. The fact of taking an oath or providing an affirmation replacing the oath shall be confirmed by his/her signature on the text of the oath or affirmation.

7. The oath taken by the accused before testifying as a witness shall not prejudice his/her right to refuse to give an incriminating testimony against himself/herself or a close relative. The refusal to give a testimony may not be considered as evidence that proves the culpability of the accused.

Law of Georgia No 3616 of 24 September 2010 – LHG I, No 50, 24.9.2010, Art. 328

Law of Georgia No 4677 of 18 December 2015 – website, 29.12.2015

 

Article 49 – Rights and obligations of a witness

1. A witness shall have the right to:

a) be informed about the case for which he/she has been called;

b) if he/she has no or insufficient command of the language of the criminal proceedings or has such disability as to not allow him/her to communicate without using sign language, give a testimony in the native or any other language of his/her choice, and use the services of an interpreter at the expense of the State;

c) review the record of an investigative action carried out with his/her participation, and request to make remarks, additions and amendments to the record;

d) avoid giving a testimony that discloses the commission of a crime by himself/herself or by his/her close relative;

e) participate in the carrying out of investigative actions;

f) request taking a special measures of protection.

2. A witness shall be obliged:

a) to appear upon the summons of the court;

b) to respond to the questions posed;

c) not to disclose circumstances of a case known to him/her if so warned by the court;

d) to observe order during the court hearing;

e) not to leave the courtroom without the permission of the presiding judge.

3. A witness may be coerced into appearing in the court in accordance with the procedure prescribed by this Code.

Law of Georgia No 6842 of 14 July 2020 – website, 28.7.2020

 

Article 50 – Persons who are not be obliged to act as a witness

1. The following persons shall not be obliged to be interrogated as witnesses, and to transfer an item, a document, substance or other object that contains information essential to the case:

a) a defence lawyer – with regard to the circumstances that he/she has come to know when fulfilling the duties of a defence lawyer in the given case;

b) a defence lawyer who provides legal aid to a person before the person receives a defence lawyer – with regard to the circumstances that he/she has come to know in connection with the legal aid;

c) a clergy member – with regard to the circumstances that he/she has come to know as a result of a confession or other act of confiding;

d) a close relative of the accused;

e) the Public Defender or a person authorised by the Public Defender – with regard to the fact that he/she has been confided in as the Public Defender;

e1) the head of the Personal Data Protection Service – with regard to the performance of functions for controlling the lawfulness of the personal data processing, and for carrying out covert investigative actions and the activities carried out at the Central Identification Data Repository of Electronic Communication, due to the fact that he/she has been confided in as the head of the Personal Data Protection Service;

f) a Member of the Parliament of Georgia – with regard to the fact that he/she has been confided in as a member of a representative body;

g) a judge – with regard to the circumstances that are part of the secrecy of judicial deliberation;

g1) a participant of the mediation with regard to the information which has become known to him/her in the process of mediation, or which substantially is a result of the mediation process, except for the case provided for by the Law of Georgia on Mediation, where disclosure of confidential information is necessary for the purpose of investigating an especially serious crime;

h) a journalist – with regard to the information obtained in the course of his/her professional activities;

i) a victim of human trafficking – during the reflection period;

j) a member of the Special Prevention Group operating under the Public Defender’s Office of Georgia – with regard to the fact he/she has been confided in while carrying out the functions of the National Prevention Mechanism, provided that he/she refuses to give a testimony;

k) a member of the Supreme Council of the Autonomous Republic – with regard to the fact that he/she has been confided in as the member of the representative body.

2. A person who, due to his/her disability, is not able to properly comprehend, memorise and recollect the circumstances that are essential to the case, and to give information or testimony, shall not be interviewed or interrogated as a witness.

3. A court may discharge the following persons from the duty of a witness:

a) a medical worker, if it is his/her professional duty to keep a doctor-patient confidentiality (medical secrecy);

b) a notary, a public servant, a state servant, a military service person and a person equal in status to the military service person, provided that they have assumed the obligation not to disclose the source and contents of the information obtained;

c) a person who has been employed on the condition of non-disclosure of commercial or bank secrets;

d) a person participating in a counter-terrorist act and/or a special operation (in connection with his/her professional duty), whose activities are confidential, and the documents, materials and other data associated with such activities that constitute a state secret.

4. If a person specified in paragraph 1(i) of this article, during the reflection period, persons specified in paragraph 1(h) of this article and paragraph 3(a-c) of this article, who under the legislation of Georgia are obliged to keep confidentiality and, at the same time, know that the crimes specified in Article 137(4)(c), Article 138(3)(b) and (c) or Article 138(4)(a), Article 139(2), Article 140 or 141, Article 253(5), Article 254(4) or (5), Article 255(3), (4), (5), (6) or (7), or Articles 2551 or 2552 have been committed against a minor, shall not be considered to be in breach of the above obligation if they voluntarily provide information during an interview or testify as a witness.

5. A close relative of the accused in the criminal case for domestic violence under Article 1261 of the Criminal Code of Georgia, or in the criminal case for domestic crime under Article 111 of the same Code, who has directly sustained moral and physical injury and property damage as a result of the said crime, before enjoying the right provided for by paragraph (1) of this article, shall be offered by a person conducting examination of a witness the consultation with a coordinator of the victim and the enjoying of a 3-day period for making a decision until the relevant decision is made.

Law of Georgia No 3616 of 24 September 2010 – LHG I, No 50, 24.9.2010, Art. 328

Law of Georgia No 1729 of 11 December 2013 – website, 25.12.2013

Law of Georgia No 4378 of 27 October 2015 – website, 11.11.2015

Law of Georgia No 4677 of 18 December 2015 – website, 29.12.2015

Law of Georgia No 4924 of 13 April 2016 – website, 26.4.2016

Law of Georgia No 164 of 21 December 2016 – website, 28.12.2016

Law of Georgia No 2355 of 17 May 2018 – website, 29.5.2018

Law of Georgia No 3276 of 21 July 2018 – website, 9.8.2018

Law of Georgia No 4604 of 8 May 2019 – website, 8.5.2019

Law of Georgia No 4961 of 18 September 2019 – website, 27.9.2019

Law of Georgia No 5026 of 20 September 2019 – website, 1.10.2019

Law of Georgia No 6755 of 13 July 2020 – website, 20.7.2020

Law of Georgia No 6842 of 14 July 2020 – website, 28.7.2020

Law of Georgia No 1314 of 30 December 2021 – website, 13.01.2022

 

Article 51 – Experts

1. An expert shall be assigned all rights and obligations of a witness.

2. An expert shall be impartial regardless of the party that has summoned him/her.

3. It shall be impermissible to conduct an expert examination to prove the reliability of a witness.

 

Article 52 – Rights and obligations of an expert

1. An expert shall have the right to:

a) review materials required for expert examination, make notes and copies of the necessary information;

b) request the submission of additional materials; take a test sample of a (bullet) casing, a bullet or any other item during the examination; request from the person, who initiated the conduct of an expert examination, additional information required for the expert examination;

c) refuse to provide an expert opinion or to continue an expert examination, provided that the questions posed are outside the area of his/her expertise or the materials submitted are not sufficient for providing an expert opinion;

d) be present during an investigative action by permission of the person who initiated the expert examination, of an investigator, a prosecutor or a court;

e) take part in the examination of evidence relating to the object of expert examination and to the expert examination;

f) use scientific-technical means, expert knowledge and experience for the purpose of detection, examination and demonstration of evidence.

2. An expert shall be obliged to:

a) include in the expert opinion the circumstance established during the expert examination about which the person who initiated the expert examination, and/or other authorised participants in proceedings have not asked questions;

b) safeguard the object of expert examination and return it after the expert examination to the person who initiated the expert examination, unless this object has been fully used up during the examination;

c) file for self-disqualification if there are relevant grounds provided for by law.

 

Article 53 – Interpreter

1. An interpreter shall be called when:

a) a participant in proceedings has no or insufficient command of the language of the criminal proceedings;

b) it is necessary to translate a text in the language of the criminal proceedings;

c) a participant in proceedings has such disability as to not allow him/her to communicate without using sign language.

2. A note regarding the summoning of an interpreter shall be made to the relevant record.

3. ( Deleted – 14.7.2020, No 6842).

4. Other participants in proceedings may not act as an interpreter.

Law of Georgia No 6549 of 22 June 2012 – website, 4.7.2012

Law of Georgia No 6842 of 14 July 2020 – website, 28.7.2020

 

Article 54 – Rights and obligations of an interpreter

1. An interpreter shall have the right to:

a) put questions to participants in proceedings to clarify the details of the interpretation;

b) review the record of the investigative action and the record of the court hearing in which he/she participated;

c) make remarks; the remarks shall be included in the record of the court hearing;

d) refuse to interpret if he/she lacks the knowledge necessary for interpretation.

2. An interpreter shall be obliged:

a) to appear upon summons of an investigator, a prosecutor or a court;

b) to accurately and completely interpret/translate testimonies and documents;

c) to confirm the authenticity of a translation by signing a record of the investigative action in which he/she participated, or any other procedural document;

d) not to disclose investigation materials, or information concerning the personal life of citizens, without the permission of an investigator or a prosecutor.

 

Article 55 – Friend of the court (Amicus Curiae)

1. An interested person who is not a party to a criminal case under review, may, at least five days before a hearing of the case on the merits, submit to the court in writing his/her own written opinion with regard to this case.

2. Instead of supporting any of the participants in proceedings, a written opinion shall be intended to assist a court in appropriately evaluating the issue under review. If a court considers that a written opinion has not been drafted in compliance with the requirements of this article, it shall not review it.

3. A court shall not be obliged to take into consideration the arguments provided in the written opinion.

4. A written opinion shall not exceed 30 pages. It shall be drafted in 3 copies, 2 of which shall be transferred to the parties and the other shall remain with the judge.

5. The court may, on its own initiative and/or with a prior consent of the party and the author of the written opinion, summon to the merits hearing the author of the written opinion to provide oral explanations.

Law of Georgia No 3616 of 24 September 2010 – LHG I, No 50, 24.9.2010, Art. 328

 

Chapter VII – Victim

 

Article 56 – Recognising a person as a victim

1. A victim shall be assigned all rights and obligations of a victim.

2. A victim that is a legal person shall participate in criminal proceedings through a person with representative powers, who shall be assigned all rights and obligations of a victim.

3. In the case of a crime that caused the death of the victim, the rights and obligations of the victim shall be assigned to any of the close relatives of the victim (‘a legal successor of the victim’). An investigator, a prosecutor and a judge may not deny a legal successor of the victim to exercise any of the rights granted to the victim. If a dispute arises between close relatives of the same level, a legal successor of the victim shall be determined by drawing lots.

4. In the case of preparation or attempt of a crime, the State, the natural or legal person that could have been harmed, shall be deemed to be a victim.

5. If there are appropriate grounds for recognising a person as a victim or as a legal successor of the victim, the prosecutor shall issue a decree on his/her own initiative, or upon the filing of the relevant application by that person. If a prosecutor does not satisfy the application within 48 hours after it has been filed, the person in question may apply once to a superior prosecutor for recognising him/her as a victim or a legal successor of the victim. If a superior prosecutor does not satisfy the appeal, the person in question may appeal the decision of the prosecutor to a district (city) court according to the place of investigation.

51. A prosecutor, or upon his/her instructions, an investigator, shall familiarise the victim with the decree on the recognition of a person as a victim and explain to him/her all the rights provided for by this Code, and the procedures related to the exercise of those rights, and shall draft a report to that effect. The report shall be signed by the victim and the persons who drafted it. A victim may make remarks to the report. If a victim refuses to sign the report, the reason for the refusal shall be recorded in the report.

6. If, after issuing a decree on the recognition of a person as a victim, it is established that there are no appropriate grounds for such recognition, the prosecutor shall make a decision to annul that decree and shall inform the victim thereof in writing. A victim may appeal to a superior prosecutor, only once, the decision of the prosecutor annulling the decree on the recognition of a person as a victim. If a superior prosecutor does not satisfy the appeal, the victim may appeal the decision of the prosecutor to a district (city) court, according to the place of investigation.

7. A judge shall deliver a ruling on the issues provided for by paragraphs 5 and 6 of this article with or without an oral hearing. The decision made by the judge may not be appealed.

Law of Georgia No 2518 of 24 July 2014 – website, 6.8.2014

Law of Georgia No 3276 of 21 July 2018 – website, 9.8.2018

Decision of the Constitutional Court of Georgia No 2/12/1229, 1242, 1247, 1299 of 14 December 2018 – website, 20.12.2018

Law of Georgia No 4604 of 8 May 2019 – website, 8.5.2019

Law of Georgia No 5026 of 20 September 2019 – website, 1.10.2019

 

Article 57 – Rights of a victim

1. A victim shall have the right to:

a) be informed about the essence of the charges brought against the accused;

b) be informed about the procedural actions provided for by Article 58 of this Code;

c) during a hearing on the merits, during the review of a motion for rendering a ruling without a hearing on the merits and at the sentencing hearing, give a testimony concerning the damage he/she has incurred as a result of the crime, or submit, in writing, that information to the court;

d) obtain, free of charge, copies of a decree/ruling, and/or of a judgment on the termination of investigation and/or criminal prosecution, or of other final court decisions;

e) be indemnified for the expenses incurred as a result of participating in the proceedings;

f) recover his/her own property that was temporarily confiscated during the investigation and the court hearing for the needs of the case;

g) request the application of special measures of protection if his/her or his/her close relative’s or family member’s life, health and/or property are endangered;

h) be informed on the progress of the investigation and review the materials of the criminal case, unless this contradicts the interests of the investigation;

(The normative content of Article 57(1)(h), excluding the possibility of the victim to be informed on the progress of the investigation and review the materials of the criminal case in the form of copies, has been declared invalid) Decision of the Constitutional Court of Georgia No 1/3/1312 of 18 December 2020 – website, 22.12.2020

i) upon request, obtain information on the measure of restraint applied against the accused, and information on the leaving of a penitentiary institution by the accused/convicted person, unless this creates a risk for the accused/convicted person;

j) review the materials of the criminal case at least 10 days before a preliminary hearing;

k) request the prosecution to file a motion for closing, in part or in full, a court hearing for the purpose specified in Article 182(3) of this Code;

l) receive explanations as to his/her rights and obligations;

m) enjoy other rights granted under this Code.

11. At any stage of criminal proceedings, an insolvent victim of domestic crime, as provided for by Article 111 of the Criminal Code of Georgia, and/or of domestic violence, as provided for by Article 1261 of the same Code, shall have the right to free legal aid, unless a defence lawyer hired by the victim is participating in the criminal case (defence by agreement), while a victim of domestic crime, as provided for by Article 111 of the Criminal Code of Georgia, and/or of domestic violence, as provided for by Article 1261 of the same Code, who is not considered to be insolvent, shall have the right to free legal aid if there are grounds determined by the Law of Georgia on Legal Aid, in accordance with the procedure established by the same Law.

2. Upon satisfying a request for obtaining the information and for reviewing the materials specified in paragraph 1(h) of this article, a prosecutor/investigator shall draft a report in the manner prescribed by Article 56(51) of this Code. If the satisfaction of the request contradicts the interests of the investigation, the prosecutor/investigator, immediately upon the elimination of the grounds for dismissing the request, shall be obliged to inform the victim and provide him/her information on the progress of the investigation and familiarise him/her with the materials of the criminal case.

3. If the request referred to in this article has been denied, the prosecutor shall issue a reasoned decree. A victim may appeal this decree, only once, to a superior prosecutor.

(The normative content of the second sentence of Article 57(3), excluding the possibility of appealing a decree of a superior prosecutor in relation to paragraph 1(h) of the same article, has been declared invalid) Decision of the Constitutional Court of Georgia No 1/5/1355, 1389 of 27 July 2023 – website, 31.7.2023

Law of Georgia No 5170 of 28 October 2011 – website, 11.11.2011

Law of Georgia No 2518 of 24 July 2014 – website, 6.8.2014

Law of Georgia No 3528 of 1 October 2015 – website, 18.5.2015

Decision of the Constitutional Court of Georgia No 1/3/1312 of 18 December 2020 – website, 22.12.2020

Law of Georgia No 1661 of 21 June 2022 – website, 1.7.2022

Decision of the Constitutional Court of Georgia No 1/5/1355, 1389 of 27 July 2023 – website, 31.7.2023

 

Article 58 – Information and explanation

1. Upon request of the victim, the prosecutor shall inform the victim in advance on the place and time of the following procedural actions:

a) the initial appearance of the accused before a magistrate judge;

b) a preliminary hearing;

c) a main hearing;

d) a hearing at which a prosecutor’s motion requesting the passing of a judgment without a hearing on the merits is considered;

e) a sentencing hearing;

f) a hearing of a court of appeal or a court of cassation.

2. The information specified in paragraph 1 of this article shall be submitted to the victim in writing, except when the transfer of the information through other means is reasonable under the given circumstances and allows sufficient time for making the appropriate decision.

21. The information provided for by paragraph 1 of this article shall be provided to the victim with a disability depending on his/her level of disability and specific needs.

3. A prosecutor shall be obliged to notify the victim of the conclusion of a plea bargain.

Law of Georgia No 3616 of 24 September 2010 – LHG I, No 50, 24.9.2010, Art. 328

Law of Georgia No 2518 of 24 July 2014 – website, 6.8.2014

Law of Georgia No 6842 of 14 July 2020 – website, 28.7.2020

 

Chapter VII1 – Coordinator of Witness and Victim

Law of Georgia No 2270 of 4 May 2018 – website, 21.5.2018

 

Article 581 Coordinator of a witness and a victim

1. A coordinator of a witness and a victim may be involved in a criminal case by the decision of a prosecutor or an investigator.

2. The purpose of the involvement of a coordinator of a witness and a victim in the case shall be to simplify the participation of the witness and the victim in the proceedings, mitigate the stress caused as a result of the crime, prevent re-victimisation and secondary victimisation, and to ensure their awareness at the investigation and court hearing stages.

3. A prosecutor or an investigator shall make the decision to involve the coordinator of a witness and a victim in the criminal case based on the interests of the witness and the victim.

4. The prosecutor shall consider the issue of appropriateness of the involvement of the coordinator of a witness and a victim in the criminal case at any stage of proceedings, and the investigator, before referring the case to court.

5. The prosecutor and the investigator shall immediately notify the coordinator of a witness and a victim of the decision delivered by him/her to involve the coordinator of a witness and a victim in the criminal case, and shall communicate to him/her the factual circumstances of the criminal case and the contact details of the witness/victim.

6. When the coordinator of a witness and a victim becomes aware of his/her involvement in the criminal case, he/she shall promptly contact the witness/victim. The witness/victim shall have the right to refuse to cooperate with the coordinator of a witness and a victim.

Law of Georgia No 2270 of 4 May 2018 – website, 21.5.2018

Law of Georgia No 663 of 22 June 2021 – website, 24.6.2021

 

Article 582 Rights and duties of a coordinator of a witness and a victim

1. A coordinator of a witness and a victim from the Prosecutor’s Office shall:

a) after a preliminary consultation with a prosecutor, provide a witness and a victim with the necessary information about the progress of the investigation and the court hearing;

b) communicate to a witness and a victim, in the language understandable to them, their rights and duties, and explain to them the legal procedures for investigation and court hearing;

c) during the investigation, be present at an investigative action and a procedural action carried out involving a witness and a victim, to provide emotional support to the witness/victim;

d) during the court hearing, be present at the interrogation of a witness and a victim in the courtroom, and at the examination of evidence involving them, to provide emotional support to the witness/victim;

e) provide a witness and a victim with information about the necessary legal, psychological, medical and/or other services and, when needed, assist in contacting an appropriate body/organisation.

11. A coordinator of a witness and a victim from the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia shall:

a) after a preliminary consultation with an investigator, provide a witness and a victim with the necessary information about the progress of the investigation and the court hearing;

b) communicate to a witness and a victim, in the language understandable to them, their rights and duties, and explain to them the legal procedures related to investigation;

c) during the investigation, be present at an investigative action and a procedural action carried out involving a witness and a victim, to provide emotional support to the witness/victim;

d) provide a witness and a victim with information about the necessary legal, psychological, medical and/or other services and, when needed, assist in contacting an appropriate body/organisation.

2. A coordinator of a witness and a victim may not, during an investigative action and a procedural action, ask questions to the witness and the victim or otherwise interfere in the evidence collection process.

3. A coordinator of a witness and a victim shall not disclose the case-related circumstances known to him/her.

Law of Georgia No 2270 of 4 May 2018 – website, 21.5.2018

Law of Georgia No 663 of 22 June 2021 – website, 24.6.2021

 

Chapter VIII – Circumstances Excluding Participation in Criminal Proceedings; Recusal

 

Article 59 – Circumstances excluding the participation of a judge, a juror, a prosecutor, an investigator or a secretary of the court session in criminal proceedings

1. A judge, a juror, a prosecutor, an investigator or a secretary of the court session may not participate in criminal proceedings if:

a) he/she has not been appointed or elected to the position in the manner prescribed by law;

b) he/she participates or participated in this case as the accused, a defence lawyer, a victim, an expert, an interpreter or a witness;

b1) the investigation is in progress with respect to the alleged commission by him/her of a crime;

c) he/she is a family member or close relative of the accused, defence lawyer, or of the victim;

d) they are members of one family, or close relatives;

d1) he/she was a mediator for the same case or for the case substantially related to the said case;

e) there are other circumstances that question his/her objectivity and impartiality.

2. A judge may not participate in the hearing of a criminal case on the merits if he/she participated in this case as an investigator, a prosecutor, or as a judge of a preliminary hearing, of the court of first instance, the court of appeal or the court of cassation, or as a secretary of the court session. This procedure shall apply to a judge who participated in the review of the newly revealed circumstances of a criminal case.

3. A judge may not participate in the review of the appeal filed against the decision delivered by him/her.

4. If a judge previously participated in the review of a case by way of cassation, he/she may still participate in the haring of the case at the Grand Chamber of the Supreme Court of Georgia.

5. The performance of their duties by a prosecutor and an investigator shall not impede their further participation in the case at any stage of the criminal proceedings.

6. An investigator involved in a criminal case may not participate in the investigative action that is to be carried out under a court ruling adopted on the motion of the defence, unless there is a prior written consent of the defence.

Law of Georgia No 2518 of 24 July 2014 – website, 6.8.2014

Law of Georgia No 4961 of 18 September 2019 – website, 27.9.2019

 

Article 60 – Circumstances excluding the participation of a defence lawyer in criminal proceedings

A defence lawyer may not participate in a criminal proceeding if he/she:

a) was involved in this case as a judge, a jury, an investigator, a secretary of the court session, a witness or an expert;

b) provides or provided legal aid to the person whose interests contradict the interests of the accused under his/her defence and whom he/she represents;

c) is related to a judge, a prosecutor, an investigator or a secretary of the court session who participates or participated in the investigation or the court hearing of this case;

d) is or was a mediator for the same case or for the case substantially related to the said case.

Law of Georgia No 4961 of 18 September 2019 – website, 27.9.2019

 

Article 601 – (Deleted)

Law of Georgia No 2706 of 17 October 2014 – website, 31.10.2014

Law of Georgia No 3715 of 12 June 2015 – website, 24.6.2015

 

Article 61 – Circumstances excluding the participation of an interpreter in criminal proceedings

An interpreter may not participate in a criminal proceeding when he/she essentially depends on and/or is related to any participant in criminal proceedings.

 

Article 611 – Circumstances excluding the participation of a coordinator of a witness and a victim in criminal proceedings

A coordinator of a witness and a victim shall not participate in criminal proceedings if:

a) he/she is or was involved in this case as an investigator, a prosecutor, a judge, a juror, a secretary of the court session, an accused, a defence lawyer , a victim, an expert, an interpreter or a witness;

b) the investigation regarding this case into the alleged commission of a crime by him/her has been in progress;

c) he/she is related to any participant in the proceedings.

Law of Georgia No 2270 of 4 May 2018 – website, 21.5.2018

 

Article 62 – Self-recusal

1. If there are any circumstances that exclude the participation of a judge, a juror, a prosecutor, an investigator, a secretary of the court session, a defence lawyer, a coordinator of a witness and a victim, an interpreter or an expert, he/she shall immediately declare about self-recusal.

2. An investigator shall declare about self-recusal to the prosecutor conducting procedural guidance, a prosecutor shall declare about self-recusal to a superior prosecutor, and during the court hearing, to the court.

3. A judge shall declare about self-recusal to the chairperson of the court.

4. A defence lawyer, a coordinator of a witness and a victim, an interpreter, an expert shall declare about self-recusal to a prosecutor, while during the court hearing, the above persons and the secretary of the court session shall declare about self-recusal in the court.

5. A declaration of self-recusal shall be substantiated.

6. Professional incompetence of an expert shall serve as grounds for his/her self-recusal.

Law of Georgia No 2270 of 4 May 2018 – website, 21.5.2018

 

Article 63 – Procedure for filing a motion for recusal

1. If there is any circumstance that excludes the participation of any of the participants in criminal proceedings specified in this Code and the participant has not declared about self-recusal, the parties may file a motion for recusal.

2. A duly authorised person shall file a motion for recusal immediately, at the earliest available opportunity, after he/she has been informed about the grounds for recusal. Otherwise, a motion shall not be considered.

3. A motion to recuse a judge, a juror, a prosecutor, a secretary of the court session, a defence lawyer or an interpreter during the court hearing shall be filed with the court by duly authorised persons.

4. A motion for recusal of an investigator, a coordinator of a witness and a victim, or of an interpreter during the investigation shall be filed by a party with a prosecutor.

5. A motion for recusal of a prosecutor during the investigation shall be filed by duly authorised persons with a superior prosecutor.

Law of Georgia No 2270 of 4 May 2018 – website, 21.5.2018

 

Article 64 – Procedure for deciding a motion to recuse

1. A recused person may, before a motion to recuse is heard, provide explanations.

2. A decision on a motion to recuse a judge shall be made:

a) during the hearing of the case sitting alone, if a motion to recuse has been filed against the judge hearing the case, by that judge;

b) during the review of a case by a panel of judges, if a motion to recuse has been filed against a judge (judges), by the judge(s) against whom a motion for recusal has not been filed;

c) during the review of a case by a panel of judges, if a motion for recusal has been filed against the entire composition of the court, by the entire composition of the court hearing the case;

d) during the examination of a witness in accordance with Article 144 of this Code, if a motion for recusal has been filed against the magistrate judge, by the magistrate judge.

3. A motion for recusal filed during the investigation shall be decided within 24 hours, and a motion filed during a court sitting shall be decided immediately, by deliberation in chambers or in the courtroom.

4. A prosecutor shall issue a decree, and a court shall render a ruling on the filed motion for recusal.

Law of Georgia No 4677 of 18 December 2015 – website, 29.12.2015

 

Article 65 – Referring a case to another judge or defining a new composition of the hearing court in the case of recusal of a judge or of the entire composition of the court

1. If the court hearing a case is recused, the case shall be transferred to the chairperson of the court, who shall transfer the case for review to another composition of the same court.

2. If the entire composition of a court of first instance is recused, for the purpose of hearing the case in another court of the same instance, the case shall be transferred to the chairperson of the respective court of appeal, who, within 48 hours of receiving the case, shall decide the given issue.

3. If the entire composition of a court of appeal is recused, for the purpose of hearing the case in another court of the same instance, the case shall be transferred to the Chairperson of the Supreme Court of Georgia, who, within 48 hours of receiving the case, shall decide the given issue.

 

Article 66 – Appealing a decision on a motion for recusal

1. A decision granting a motion for recusal may not be appealed.

2. A decision dismissing a motion to recuse an investigator may be appealed, only once, within a period of one week, to a prosecutor who is superior to the prosecutor providing procedural guidance.

3. The refusal of a court to grant a motion for recusal may be appealed along with a final decision.

 

Chapter IX – Procedure for Applying Special Measures of Protection of Participants in Criminal Proceedings

Law of Georgia No 3616 of 24 September 2010 – LHG I, No 50, 24.9.2010, Art. 328

Law of Georgia No 5170 of 28 October 2011 – website, 11.11.2011

 

Article 67 – Grounds for applying a special measure of protection of a participant in proceedings

Special measures of protection of a participant in criminal proceedings may be applied if:

a) the proceedings concern the commission of an act, the public hearing of which, due to its nature, substantially harms the personal life of the participant in proceedings;

b) making public the identity and the involvement in the case of the participant in proceedings considerably endangers his/her or his/her close relative’s life, health or property;

c) the participant in proceedings depends on the accused;

d) (deleted – 28.1.2011, No 5170) .

Law of Georgia No 3616 of 24 September 2010 – LHG I, No 50, 24.9.2010, Art. 328

Law of Georgia No 5170 of 28 October 2011 – website, 11.11.2011

 

Article 68 – Type of special measures of protection of participants in proceedings, and person responsible for their application

1. The inclusion of a participant in proceedings in a special protection programme is a type of a special measure of protection of participants in proceedings.

2. A prosecutor may, with the consent of the General Prosecutor of Georgia or his/her deputy, apply a special measure of protection of a participant in proceedings and include in a special protection programme a participant in proceedings specified in paragraph 1 of this article or a person who may become a participant in proceedings, or any other person related to the person, and/or his/her close relative, with their consent.

3. The Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia shall, in the manner prescribed by a special protection programme for participants in proceedings, apply specific measures of protection with respect to persons specified by paragraph 2 of this article. These measures shall include:

a) taking measures preventing the location (of participants in proceedings) – replacing or removing from the Public Registry or any other public record the data that make it possible to recognise and identify a participant in proceedings, in particular, the participant’s name, address, work place, occupation or other relevant information;

b) changing the identity and issuing new documents – assigning a pseudonym, changing the physical appearance, classifying as secret the procedural and other documents that make it possible to recognise and identify the person;

c) taking safety measures (personal protection, emergency call, etc.);

d) changing temporarily or permanently the place of residence;

e) removing (relocating) to another state.

4. The procedures for including a participant in proceedings in a special protection programme and implementing specific measures of protection shall be jointly determined by the Minister of Justice and the Minister of Internal Affairs of Georgia.

5. Expenses associated with special measures of protection of participants in proceedings shall be borne by the State.

Law of Georgia No 3616 of 24 September 2010 – LHG I, No 50, 24.9.2010, Art. 328

Law of Georgia No 5170 of 28 October 2011 – website, 11.11.2011

Law of Georgia No 3814 of 30 November 2018 – website, 13.12.2018

 

Article 69 – (Deleted)

Law of Georgia No 3616 of 24 September 2010 – LHG I, No 50, 24.9.2010, Art. 328

Law of Georgia No 5170 of 28 October 2011 – website, 11.11.2011

 

Article 70 – Decision on applying special measures of protection

1. A decision to apply a special measure of protection of a participant in proceedings shall contain:

a) the person with respect to whom a special measure of protection is applied (inclusion of the participant in proceedings in a special protection programme);

b) the term of the special measure of protection.

2. A special measure of protection may be applied for an indefinite period.

3. A decision to apply a special measure of protection shall not be public. This decision shall apply only to the person under protection.

4. If the term of a special measure of protection expires, it may be extended if there is still a need to apply it.

5. If the grounds for applying a special measure of protection no longer exist, the person who made a decision on its application shall annul this protection measure, which shall immediately be notified to the person under protection.

Law of Georgia No 3616 of 24 September 2010 – LHG I, No 50, 24.9.2010, Art. 328

Law of Georgia No 5170 of 28 October 2011 – website, 11.11.2011

 

Article 71 – Enforcement of a decision on applying a special measure of protection

1. A prosecutor who applied a special measure of protection shall be notified of the enforcement of a decision on the application of those measures.

2. The Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia shall ensure the enforcement of special measures of protection and the enforcement of specific measures of protection applied within the limits of those measures.

Law of Georgia No 3616 of 24 September 2010 – LHG I, No 50, 24.9.2010, Art. 328

Law of Georgia No 5170 of 28 October 2011 – website, 11.11.2011

 

Section III

Evidence

 

Chapter X – Evidence, Subject of Proof and Procedure

 

Article 72 – Inadmissible evidence

1. Evidence obtained as a result of the substantial violation of this Code and any other evidence lawfully obtained based on such evidence, if it worsens the legal status of the accused, shall be considered inadmissible and shall have no legal effect.

2. Evidence shall also be considered inadmissible if it has been obtained in the manner prescribed by this Code but a reasonable doubt has not been refuted that it has been replaced, or that its properties have been substantially changed or that the traces remaining on it have substantially disappeared.

3. The burden of proving admissibility of evidence of the prosecution and of inadmissibility of evidence of the defence shall lie with the prosecutor.

4. A party shall be obliged to submit to the court information on the origin of its own evidence.

5. A court shall decide the issue of inadmissibility of evidence. A court decision shall be reasoned.

6. Inadmissible evidence may not serve as grounds for a court decision.

Law of Georgia No 471 of 14 June 2013 – website, 27.6.2013

Decision of the Constitutional Court of Georgia No 2/2/579 of 31 July 2015 – website, 18.8.2015

 

Article 73 – Judicial notice

1. The judicial notice shall be taken of:

a) a universally known fact;

b) a judgment of conviction;

c) factual circumstances established by a judgment in another criminal case, unless none of the participants in the proceedings question them;

d) any other circumstance or fact on which the parties agree.

2. At the initiative of a party, a court may reject a fact of which the court has previously taken judicial notice, if the fact contradicts the results of the examination of evidence in the court.

Law of Georgia No 417 of 14 June 2013 – website, 27.6.2013

 

Article 74 – Testimony of the accused

1. A testimony given by the accused shall be the information provided to the court on the circumstances of the criminal case.

2. Giving a testimony shall be the right of the accused.

3. The fact of refusal of the accused to give a testimony, or of giving a false testimony may not be considered as the evidence that proves the culpability of the accused.

4. The acknowledgement of the accused may not serve as grounds for a judgment of conviction, unless it can be proved by any other confirming evidence.

Law of Georgia No 3616 of 24 September 2010 – LHG I, No 50, 24.9.2010, Art. 328

 

Article 75 – Testimony of a witness

1. A testimony of a witness may not be considered as evidence, unless the witness is able to point out to the source of information, or if it is established that, due to disability, he/she is not able to properly comprehend, memorise and recollect facts.

2. If there is substantial discrepancy between the information provided by a person during the interview and his/her testimony or between the testimonies of a witness, a party may file a motion with the judge requesting the recognition of the testimony (testimonies) as inadmissible evidence.

3. A testimony of a witness shall be considered as inadmissible evidence, unless the protocol of the interrogation of that witness has been submitted to the other party in the manner prescribed by Article 83 of this Code.

Law of Georgia No 741 of 14 June 2014 – website, 27.6.2013

Law of Georgia No 4677 of 18 December 2015 – website, 29.12.2015

Law of Georgia No 6842 of 14 July 2020 – website, 28.7.2020

 

Article 76 – Indirect testimony

1. A testimony that is based on the information disseminated by any other person shall be considered indirect.

2. An indirect testimony shall be considered as admissible evidence only if the person giving an indirect testimony refers to the source of information that can be identified and the real existence of which can be established.

3. During a hearing on the merits, an indirect testimony shall be considered as admissible evidence if it can be proved by any other evidence that is not an indirect testimony.

Law of Georgia No 3616 of 24 September 2010 – LHG I, No 50, 24.9.2010, Art. 328

Law of Georgia No 741 of 14 June 2013 – website, 27.6.2013

 

Article 77 – Material evidence

1. A sample of comparative examination shall be the replaceable material evidence.

2. Material evidence shall be inspected and sealed; during the inspection, its individual and familial signs shall be identified and described.

3. A seal may be removed and the material evidence may be repeatedly inspected.

4. Only the evidence the authenticity of which can be proved shall be admissible during a hearing on the merits. A pre-marked and/or fake (simulated) item, document, substance or any other object used as part of an action provided for by Article 7(21) of the Law of Georgia on Operative-Investigative Activities shall also be admissible evidence.

Law of Georgia No 5621 of 19 December 2019 – website, 26.12.2019

 

Article 78 – Evidentiary force of a document

1. If a party so requests, a document shall have an evidentiary force if its origin has been established and it is authentic. A pre-marked and/or fake (simulated) document that has been replaced in full or in part as part of a controlled delivery provided for by Article 7(21) of the Law of Georgia on Operative-Investigative Activities shall also have an evidentiary force. A document or material evidence shall be considered as admissible evidence if a party may interrogate as a witness a person which has acquired/produced and/or which held it before its submission to the court.

2. A document may, at the same time, serve as material evidence in a criminal case if it has a property of irreplaceability.

3. If the document removed and enclosed to a criminal case is required for the current registration, payment and for other lawful purposes, this document or its copy may be returned or transferred for temporary use to the lawful owner.

Law of Georgia No 5621 of 19 December 2019 – website, 26.12.2019

 

Article 79 – Storage of material evidence

1. Material evidence shall be kept under the conditions which prevent its loss and change of its properties.

2. The material evidence, which shall not be destroyed, returned to the owner or holder, or transferred to the State, shall be kept for the term during which a criminal case shall be kept.

3. Precious metals, stones (gems), banknotes, bonds and other securities, unless their individual signs serve as evidence, shall be kept at bank institutions.

4. Material evidence may also be kept at another place.

 

Article 80 – Decision on material evidence before the completion of a criminal proceeding

1. Before the completion of a criminal proceeding, investigative authorities shall return to the owner or holder perishable items, and items which are commonly used in daily life, as well as domestic animals and poultry, unless they have been sequestered. Before the completion of a criminal proceeding, investigative authorities may return to the owner or holder vehicles, computer systems or computer data carriers, unless they have been sequestered.

2. If the material evidence is a vehicle that has been taken from lawful possession of the owner/holder against his/her will, the filing body, on its own or through an authorised body, shall offer the owner/lawful holder, in writing, if this person is identified, to retrieve the item owned by him/her. The filing body shall forward the written notification to the owner/lawful holder of the item upon establishment of his/her identity. The receipt of the written notification shall be confirmed by an appropriate document submitted by the authorised agency, or by the signature of the owner/lawful holder of the item made on the notification, and in his/her absence – by the signature of a family member and/or an authorised person, respectively. The owner/lawful holder of the vehicle shall, within 90 days after receiving the written notification, ensure, at his/her expense, that the item owned is retrieved and transported.

3. If the owner or lawful holder of an item specified in paragraph 1 of this article is not identified, or there is no document evidencing the legal origin of this item, or the item cannot be retrieved due to other reasons, it may be delivered to an appropriate person (organisation) for use, storage, or care.

4. If the owner/lawful holder fails to retrieve the vehicle within the time limit determined in paragraph 2 of this article, or if the identity of the owner or lawful holder of the vehicle cannot be established within 90 days after confiscation of the facility, or if the notification cannot be delivered to him/her within the same time limit, the vehicle shall, under a decree of the prosecutor, be returned to the person that acquired it and that was not aware of a crime committed in relation to the vehicle at the time of its acquisition (bona fide acquirer).

5. If an acquirer of a vehicle was aware of a crime committed in relation to the vehicle at the time of its acquisition, or the vehicle cannot be retrieved under paragraphs 2 and 4 of this article due to other reasons, a prosecutor shall, according to the jurisdiction, file a reasoned motion to a magistrate judge requesting the transfer of the vehicle into state ownership. The magistrate judge shall, within not later than five days after filing the motion, consider it under Article 206(3) of this Code with the participation of all interested persons, and based on the evaluation of evidence presented, make a decision either to transfer the vehicle into state ownership or to return it to the bona fide acquirer. The acquirer of the vehicle shall be considered as bona fide until proven otherwise. Burden of proving dishonesty of the acquirer of the vehicle shall lie on the prosecutor.

6. The judgment passed by a magistrate judge under paragraph 5 of this article may be appealed by a prosecutor or an interested person in the manner prescribed by Article 207 of this Code.

61. If the material evidence is a woody plant obtained illegally (through illegal felling or otherwise) within the borders of the state forest, within the borders of a protected territory, in a state-owned territory or in a territory within the administrative boundaries of a municipality (except in a territory in private ownership), the prosecutor may, on his/her own initiative or on the basis of an application from a relevant body with the right to alienate woody plants, request the transfer of this material evidence (woody plant) for the purpose of alienation to the relevant body with the right to alienate woody plants. The amount received from the alienation of the material evidence (woody plant) shall be deposited to the account of the relevant body with the right to alienate woody plants before a summary decision is made on the criminal case and the prosecutor is notified accordingly.

7. Making a decision under this article with regard to material evidence shall not deprive an interested person of the right to challenge the ownership of an item through a civil procedure.

8. An item transferred into state ownership shall be administered in the manner prescribed by the legislation of Georgia.

Law of Georgia No 893 of 29 July 2013 – website, 20.8.2013

Law of Georgia No 5390 of 8 June 2016 – website, 17.6.2016

Law of Georgia No 1105 of 15 December 2021 – website, 24.12.2021

Law of Georgia No 1575 of 24 May 2022 – website, 6.6.2022

Law of Georgia No 3163 of 15 June 2023 – website, 5.7.2023

 

Article 81 – Decision on material evidence upon completion of a criminal proceeding

1. In a judgment, in a decision on the termination of criminal prosecution and/or investigation, the issue of material evidence shall be resolved in the following manner:

a) if an instrument or item of crime has no value, it shall be destroyed, and if it has a value, it shall be confiscated procedurally;

b) if an item removed from the circulation has any value, it shall be transferred to a respective administrative body, and if an item has no value, it shall be destroyed;

c) other items which have no value, shall, by motion of the interested person or an administrative body, be transferred to the person or the body, or in the case of its absence, the items shall be destroyed;

c1) bullets and shell cases recognised as material evidence shall be transferred to the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia for inclusion in the bullet and shell casing repository of the Ministry;

c2) material evidence provided for by sub-paragraphs (a-c) of this paragraph may, on the basis of the request of a relevant administrative body, be transferred to this administrative body for educational/training and/or research purposes. The procedure for transferring, storing, using and destroying for educational/training or research purposes material evidence provided for by sub-paragraphs (a-c) of this paragraph shall be approved by an ordinance of the Government of Georgia;

d) the income/property obtained in a criminal way shall be used to indemnify the damage inflicted as a result of a crime, or to indemnify procedural costs after the damage has been indemnified, or shall be transferred to the State Budget of Georgia if the person who has incurred the damage has not been identified;

d1) when a judgment of conviction has been passed in the case provided for by Article 80(61) of this Code, as well as in the case of the termination of criminal prosecution and/or investigation on the basis of Article 105(1) (e), (f) or (i) of this Code, or in the case of the termination of criminal prosecution on the basis of paragraph 2(a), (b) or (c) of the same article, the amount received from the alienation of the woody plant shall remain in the account of the relevant body with the right to alienate woody plants, and in other cases provided for by Article 105 of this Code, the amount corresponding to the market value of the woody plant shall be given to its legal owner;

e) all items and documents owned by a victim, the acquitted person or any other person shall be returned to the owner or holder, except for the accused and the person materially liable for them.

2. A dispute over material evidence shall be resolved through a civil procedure. In the case of such dispute, the material evidence shall be kept together with the criminal case before the court decision enters into force.

3. If material evidence is damaged, lost or destroyed, its owners or holders shall receive a financial compensation. This procedure shall not apply to the property subject to a procedural confiscation, destruction and indemnification of procedural costs.

Law of Georgia No 5621 of 19 December 2019 – website, 26.12.2019

Law of Georgia No 1105 of 15 December 2021 – website, 24.12.2021

 

Article 811 – Informing an authorised body of a decision on returning material evidence before the completion of a criminal proceeding and upon the completion of a criminal proceeding

If it is known from the criminal case materials that the material evidence, in particular a vehicle or its trailer, is stored at a special protected impound lot of the Legal Entity under Public Law operating within the governance of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia − the Public Security Management Centre ‘112’, the body carrying out the criminal proceeding shall also provide information on the decision on returning this material evidence to the Legal Entity under Public Law operating within the governance of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia − the Public Security Management Centre ‘112’ within 15 days from the final decision of the matter in accordance with Article 80(1-6) and Article 81(1) of this Code.

Law of Georgia No 615 of 9 September 2021 – website, 14.6.2021

 

Article 82 – Evaluation of evidence

1. Evidence shall be evaluated in terms of its relevance to a criminal case, as well as its admissibility and trustworthiness.

2. Evidence shall not have any pre-determined force.

3. To recognise a person as an offender under a judgment of conviction, a sum of agreed evidence beyond a reasonable doubt shall be necessary.

 

Article 83 – Exchanging information on the potential evidence by parties

1. At any stage of a criminal proceeding, a request of the prosecution to become familiar with the information that the prosecution intends to submit to the court as evidence shall be immediately satisfied. The prosecution shall, in cases provided for by this Section, also be obliged to provide to the defence all available acquitting evidence.

2. After satisfying a request of the defence, the prosecution may receive from the defence the information that the latter intends to submit to the court as evidence.

3. The failure to submit fully to the party the materials available by the moment after the request of information exchange shall cause these materials to be recognised as inadmissible evidence.

4. With respect to the exchange of information by the parties provided for by paragraphs 1 and 2 of this article, a protocol shall be drafted a copy whereof, together with the criminal case, shall be submitted to the court.

5. The right of the defence to obtain information may, by motion of the prosecution, be restricted by a court only as to the information that has been acquired as a result of operative-investigative or covert investigative actions and only before a pre-trial sitting.

6. Not later than five working days before the pre-trial sitting, the parties shall submit to each other and to the court the complete information available by the moment that they intend to submit to the court as evidence.

7. The parties shall, at their expense, submit to each other information in the form of a copy of a document, and in the case of other materials – in the form of a notice. Material evidence may also be inspected, unless this causes the damage or destruction of the material evidence or of the trace on it.

8. Before introducing the accused before a court, the parties shall be obliged to provide each other with the opportunity to become familiar with the information and evidence they intend to submit to the court, also to submit copies of written evidence.

Law of Georgia No 3616 of 24 September 2010 – LHG I, No 50, 24.9.2010, Art. 328

Law of Georgia No 3891 of 7 December 2010 – LHG I, No 67, 9.12.2010, Art. 418

Law of Georgia No 4631 of 5 May 2011 – website, 19.5.2011

Law of Georgia No 2634 of 1 August 2014 – website, 18.8.2014

 

Article 831 Providing/familiarising the defence with possible evidence obtained at the request of the defence

1. If the prosecution intends to submit to the court as evidence an item, a document, a thing, substance, or any other object containing information, which has been obtained at the request of the defence, the prosecution shall, if requested, provide the defence with these materials upon the completion of an initial investigation in the manner prescribed by Article 83 of this Code.

2. If the defence wishes to conduct an expert examination of an item, a document, a thing, substance, or any other object containing information, which has been obtained at its request, and no circumstance provided for by Article 144(32-35) of this Code exists, the prosecution shall provide these materials to the defence upon the completion of an initial investigation in the manner prescribed by paragraph 3 of that article.

3. If the prosecution does not intend to submit to the court as evidence an item, a document, a thing, substance, or any other object containing information, which has been obtained at the request of the defence, or if the defence does not wish to conduct an expert examination of an item, a document, a thing, substance, or any other object containing information, which has been obtained at its request, but needs to examine these materials, become familiar with their content or carry out another investigative action, the prosecution shall, if requested, provide/familiarise the defence with these materials upon the completion of an initial investigation in the manner prescribed by Article 83(7) of this Code.

4. If, in the case provided for by paragraph 3 of this article, the prosecution delays the provision/familiarisation of the defence with relevant materials, the defence shall have the right to apply to a respective district (city) court according to the place of investigation with a request to be provided/familiarised with the said materials in the manner prescribed by Article 83(7). Such request shall be considered in the manner prescribed by Article 144(3) of this Code.

Law of Georgia No 5186 of 17 October 2019 – website, 23.10.2019

 

Article 84 – (Invalidated)

Law of Georgia No 3616 of 24 September 2010 – LHG I, No 50, 24.9.2010, Art. 328

Law of Georgia No 4631 of 5 May 2011 – website, 19.5.2011

Law of Georgia No 741 of 14 June 2013 – website, 27.6.2013

 

Chapter XI – Procedural Liability for Non-performance of Procedural Duties and for Disrupting Order in a Courtroom

 

Article 85 – Liability for non-performance of procedural duties and for disrupting order in a courtroom

1. Order in a courtroom shall be maintained by a person designated by the chairperson of the court. Order in a courtroom shall be maintained by the presiding judge who may, taking into account the number of seats in the room, limit the number of persons attending the session.

2. If a participant in proceedings or a person attending a court session disrupts order during a session, disobeys an order of the presiding judge or shows disrespect towards the court, the presiding judge shall give him/her an oral warning and ask him/her to stop the inappropriate behaviour. In the case of disobedience to the above request, the presiding judge shall, by deliberation in the courtroom, impose a fine and/or remove the person from the courtroom. If the person removed still continues disrupting order, the court bailiff shall, upon instructions of the judge, remove the person from the court (building); in addition, this person may receive a fine provided for by this article or detention.

3. If the decree of the presiding judge is for the removal from the courtroom of a prosecutor or defence lawyer, the hearing of a criminal case shall be adjourned, except where one person is, from the very beginning, prosecuted or defended by several prosecutors or defence lawyer. Regarding inappropriate behaviour of a removed prosecutor or defence lawyer, a court shall deliver a special ruling that shall be forwarded to the General Prosecutor’s Office of Georgia or to the Bar Association, respectively.

4. If the accused has been removed from a courtroom, a final court decision shall be announced in his/her presence, and if the accused still continues disrupting order, the decision shall be announced in his/her absence. After that, the accused shall be handed over a copy of the decision, which shall be confirmed by his/her signature.

5. A person shall be deemed removed from a courtroom until the hearing of the case on the given charges is completed in the court of the same instance. The presiding judge may, upon a reasoned motion of a party, allow the person removed to return to the session. The person removed shall be returned to the session also if a relevant court grants an appeal of that person on the recognition of his/her removal from a courtroom as unlawful and on his/her return to the courtroom.

6. By an order of the presiding judge, a fine in the amount of GEL 50 to GEL 500 shall be imposed on a person disrupting order at a court session, including a person who is removed, for which a writ of execution shall be issued. If the person fined continues disrupting order, the presiding judge may immediately increase the amount of the fine within the limits determined by this paragraph.

7. If an action of a person at a court session is intended to disrupt the trial, or he/she demonstrates a clear and/or gross disrespect towards the court, a participant in proceedings or a party, the court bailiff shall, upon instructions of the presiding judge, arrest the person and prepare a record of arrest; in addition, the presiding judge shall draft a statement containing the details of the violation and submit it to the court (judge) entitled to pass a decree. The person arrested shall immediately, but not later than 24 hours, be present before the court to which a statement has been submitted and which is entitled to pass a decree on the detention of that person for up to 30 days.

8. If a court establishes that detention provided for by this article has already been applied to a person once, it may issue a decree on the detention of that person for up to 60 days.

9. At a district (city) court that has two or more judges, a decree shall be issued by the chairperson of the court. If the violation occurs during a session conducted with the participation of the chairperson of the court, the decree shall be issued by any judge designated by the chairperson. At a district (city) court that has a single judge, a decree shall be issued by the chairperson of the nearest district (city) court. If the violation provided for by this paragraph has occurred during the hearing of a case by a magistrate judge, a decree shall be issued by the chairperson of the district (city) court to which the magistrate judge belongs.

10. At a court of appeal, a decree shall be issued by the chairperson of the court, and if the violation occurs at a session conducted with the participation of the chairperson of the court, the decree shall be issued by the deputy chairperson or by any judge designated by the chairperson.

11. At the Supreme Court of Georgia, except for the Grand Chamber, a decree during a case hearing shall be issued by the chairperson of one of its chambers. At the Grand Chamber of the Supreme Court of Georgia, a decree during a case hearing shall be issued by a judge who did not participate in the hearing. An arrested person may, if necessary, be transferred to the police.

12. If a decree on detention has been issued against a participant in proceedings, the court session may be adjourned for a specified period. A decree shall be issued at an oral hearing as soon as the arrested person is present, but not later than 24 hours.

13. If a person disrupts order in a court, shows disrespect towards the court, or interferes with the normal functioning of the court, the court bailiff may arrest the wrongdoer and prepare a record of arrest. A court bailiff shall be obliged to present the arrested person immediately, but not later than 24 hours, to the chairperson of the same court, while in the Supreme Court of Georgia, to the Deputy Chairperson of the Supreme Court. The chairperson of the court, or the Deputy Chairperson of the Supreme Court, in the case of the Supreme Court of Georgia, may, as soon as the arrested person is presented, but not later than 24 hours, exercise the powers granted to him/her under this article.

14. A decree provided for by this article, except for a decree on detention, may be issued without an oral hearing, and it may, in the manner prescribed by paragraph 16 of the same article, be appealed by a person to which the decree applies. A judge reviewing the above appeal shall deliver one of the following rulings:

a) on dismissing the appeal and upholding the appealed decree;

b) on granting the appeal and annulling the decree imposing a fine on the person, and/or returning the person to the court session.

141. Appealing a decree of the presiding judge imposing a fine shall suspend the enforcement of that decree.

142. A decree of the presiding judge for the imposition of a fine and/or for removal from a courtroom shall be delivered to the person against whom the above measure has been applied, not later than 24 hours after the decree has been passed.

15. When hearing a case on detention provided for by this article, the court shall notify the arrested person of the time and place of the hearing. Non-appearance of the party shall not result in adjournment if the session. The case hearing shall begin with the report of the presiding judge who shall state against whom detention could be applied; shall inform the persons participating in the hearing of their rights and obligations, publicly read the statement concerning the disruption of order and listen to the persons participating in the hearing. During an oral hearing, the wrongdoer/his/her defence lawyer shall be granted an opportunity to present to the court their opinions and give explanations as to the lawfulness of the detention and of the penalty. After hearing the parties, the presiding judge (a judge) shall issue a decree on detention by deliberation in the courtroom. The court that issues a decree shall immediately deliver a copy of that decree to the wrongdoer and also forward a copy for enforcement to law enforcement bodies. The term of arrest shall be counted towards the total term of detention.

16. A decree on detention shall immediately enter into force. It may be appealed by the person, against whom detention was applied, within 48 hours after a copy of the decree has been duly served on him/her. The court shall immediately refer the filed appeal to the relevant court. A decree of the chairperson of a court of first instance or of a judge may be appealed only once to the chairperson of a court of appeal. A decree of the chairperson of a court of appeal, of the deputy chairperson or of a judge may be appealed only once to the Chairperson of the Chamber of Administrative Cases of the Supreme Court of Georgia. A decree of the Deputy Chairperson of the Supreme Court of Georgia or of the chairperson of a chamber (except for the Grand Chamber) may be appealed only once to the Chairperson of the Supreme Court of Georgia. At the Grand Chamber of the Supreme Court of Georgia, a decree of a judge on the breaking of the order shall be appealed only once to the judge who did not participate in the hearing. An appeal shall be reviewed without an oral hearing, and the term for its review shall not exceed 24 hours after it has been filed. A judge reviewing the above appeal shall deliver one of the following rulings:

a) on dismissing the appeal and upholding the appealed decree;

b) on granting an appeal, annulling a decree on the detention of a person and discharging that person from detention.

17. ( Deleted – 14.6.2013, No 741 ).

Law of Georgia No 3616 of 24 September 2010 – LHG I, No 50, 24.9.2010, Art. 328

Law of Georgia No 5170 of 28 October 2011 – website, 11.11.2011

Law of Georgia No 741 of 14 June 2013 – website, 27.6.2013

Law of Georgia No 1443 of 4 October 2013 – website, 22.10.2013

Law of Georgia No 3814 of 30 November 2018 – website, 13.12.2018

 

Chapter XII – Procedural Time Limits and Costs

 

Article 86 – Procedure for the calculation of procedural time limits

1. The time limits prescribed by this Code shall be calculated in hours, days and months. When calculating time limits, the day and hour on which the running of the period commences shall not be taken into account, except for terms of arrest and detention that are calculated in minutes.

11. When calculating time limits for carrying out covert investigative actions, the day and hour on which the covert investigative actions commence shall be taken into account.

2. Procedural time limits also include non-working hours, including holidays and non-working days.

3. A term calculated in days shall expire on the 24th hour of the last day. A term calculated in months shall expire on the corresponding day of the last month, and if the last month has no corresponding date, on the last day of that month.

Law of Georgia No 1722 of 6 September 2022 – website, 14.9.2022

 

Article 87 – Observance of time limits

1. An appeal, a motion or any other document shall be served on the person authorised to receive it before the time limit expires.

2. An appeal, a motion or any other document may be served by any means on the person authorised to receive it.

3. By court decision, a time limit, except for terms of arrest and detention, shall not be considered missed if it has been missed due to force majeure.

 

Article 88 – Consequences of missing of a time limit

A procedural action carried out after the expiration of an established period shall be void, unless the time limit missed is renewed.

 

Article 89 – Renewal of missed (procedural) time limits

1. A court may, upon motion of a party, renew a time limit missed for a valid reason, unless it unlawfully restricts the rights and guarantees of the accused.

2. A motion to renew a missed time limit shall be filed with a court in writing within a week after the valid reason has been eliminated. The court shall hear this issue without an oral hearing within 10 days.

3. The burden of proof as to a valid reason for missing a time limit shall be on the person who missed the time limit.

4. A court decision on a motion for the renewal of the missed time limit shall be final and may not be appealed.

 

Article 90 – Procedural costs

1. Procedural costs include:

a) service costs of the defence lawyer of the accused;

b) costs related to the appearance of an expert and to reimbursement of his/her activities;

c) costs related to the appearance of an interpreter and to reimbursement his/her services;

d) costs related to the appearance of a witness;

e) costs related to storing and forwarding the material evidence;

f) costs related to the carrying out of investigative actions using public funds upon motion of the accused or of his/her defence lawyer;

g) costs related to making copies of the information provided by the prosecution to the defence;

h) costs related to the appearance of jurors and for their participation in a trial;

i) costs related to obtaining evidence.

2. An expert or an interpreter shall not be reimbursed if the state has assigned a salary for their activities.

 

Article 91 – Payment of procedural costs

1. The costs for the services on a defence lawyer of the accused shall be reimbursed by the accused. If the defence is performed at the expense of the state, those costs shall be reimbursed from the State Budget.

2. A convicted person shall bear the costs for a witness, interpreter or expert summoned by him/her or by his/her attorney, for storing and forwarding material evidence, for investigative actions carried out upon his/her or his/her defence lawyer’s motion and for the making of copies of the information received from the prosecution. If the convicted person is indigent, the court may discharge him/her, in full or in part, from payment of procedural costs.

3. When several persons are convicted, each of them shall reimburse procedural costs in proportion to the degree of guilt and gravity of the imposed sentence.

4. Successors of the deceased accused or convicted person shall be discharged from procedural costs.

5. At the stage of investigation, a prosecutor shall draft a notice of his/her own procedural costs and submit it to the judge who hears the case on the merits. If the procedural costs are changed during a hearing on the merits, the prosecutor shall be obliged to include the respective changes in the notice and submit it to the court.

6. Costs arising due to the adjournment of a court hearing that is caused by the non-appearance of a participant in proceedings for no good reason shall be borne by that participant.

7. The methodology for calculating judicial costs shall be established by the High Council of Justice of Georgia.

8. If a participant in proceedings fails to appear in court for no good reason, the presiding judge shall impose a fine on him/her in the amount of GEL 100 to GEL 500. This shall not discharge the participant in proceedings from the obligation to appear. That decree shall not be appealed. The amount of fine shall be deterrent, proportional to the damage caused, and it shall correspond to the person’s financial status.

Law of Georgia No 3616 of 24 September 2010 – LHG I, No 50, 24.9.2010, Art. 328

Law of Georgia No 741 of 14 June 2013 – website, 27.6.2013

Ruling of the Constitutional Court of Georgia No 1/20/1219, 1236 of 13 October 2017 – website, 19.10.2017

 

Article 92 – Indemnification of damage

1. A person may, by a civil/administrative procedure, request and obtain compensation for damages caused by procedural actions carried out unlawfully, and by illegal decisions.

2. A person may, through a civil procedure, request indemnification of the damages incurred.

 

Chapter XIII – Motion, Appeal and General Rules for their Review

 

Article 93 – Right and procedure for filing a motion

1. At any stage of criminal proceedings, the parties may file a motion in cases directly provided for and in the manner prescribed by this Code.

2. A motion may be filed in writing or orally. A written motion shall be attached to criminal case files. An oral motion shall be included in the record of the court session. During a court hearing, a motion shall be filed with the court in writing, except when the party files a motion at the same court hearing based on new substantial circumstances. A motion shall be reasoned, it shall specifically include first the request and then the relevant arguments. It shall concern circumstances that are directly related to the issues raised in the motion.

3. Before a decision is rendered with respect to a motion, the filing party may withdraw it.

4. A motion with the same content on which a decision has already been delivered, may not be heard by the same court.

5. At the investigation stage, a motion shall be reviewed and a decision shall be delivered not later than three days after it has been filed, and in court immediately, except in cases directly provided for by this Code.

6. The court shall set a reasonable period for a party to file a motion and to submit relevant substantiation during a court hearing.

7. The court shall allow a party a reasonable period to express its opinion with regard to a motion that is filed during a court hearing.

 

Article 94 – Deciding a motion

1. A motion shall be granted if granting the request contained in the motion facilitates the accomplishment of the objectives of the criminal proceeding. If a motion is intended to delay or interfere with a criminal proceeding, it shall not be granted.

2. Reasons for a motion shall be provided orally by its initiator.

3. If a person whose interests are raised in a motion or his/her defence lawyer participates in a court session, they shall have the opportunity to provide their explanations and opinions.

4. After reviewing a motion, a duly authorised person shall decide whether to satisfy, partially grant or dismiss the motion.

5. The initiator of a motion shall be immediately notified of the outcome of its review. If the motion is denied, a copy of the decision shall be delivered to the initiator of the motion in the manner provided for by this Code.

6. When filing a motion, copies of the materials of a criminal case which are required for its review shall be submitted to the court.

 

Article 95 – Right and procedure for filing an appeal

1. A participant in criminal proceedings may, in cases directly provided for and in the manner prescribed by this Code, appeal an action or a decision of a court, a prosecutor or an investigator.

2. An appeal against an action or decision of a court shall be filed with the court that delivered the decision.

3. An appeal shall be filed in writing. It shall be attached to the criminal case files.

4. When filing an appeal, the number of copies of the appeal shall be sufficient to distribute it to all participants in the hearing on the appeal.

5. An appeal may be filed at any stage of criminal proceedings, in cases directly provided for and in the manner prescribed by this Code.

6. Unless otherwise provided for by this Code, an appeal may be filed within 10 days after the appellant learns about the action or decision that it considers unlawful and unsubstantiated.

7. An appeal shall indicate which requirements were violated in delivering the appealed decision and the facts that demonstrate the erroneousness of the provisions of the appealed decision. Materials confirming the circumstances referred to in the appeal, including information on new circumstances that were not known when the appealed decision was made, shall be attached to the appeal.

8. Before a decision is made on an appeal, the filing party may withdraw it.

Law of Georgia No 2518 of 24 July 2014 – website, 6.8.2014

 

Article 96 – Suspension of the enforcement of the appealed decision due to filing an appeal

Filing an appeal in cases directly provided for by this Code shall suspend the enforcement of the appealed decision. In other cases, filing an appeal shall suspend an appealed decision if the body or person reviewing the appeal considers the suspension necessary.

 

Article 97 – General procedure for reviewing an appeal

1. An appeal may not be reviewed by a person whose action or decision is being appealed.

2. A body or person reviewing an appeal shall be obliged to immediately take measures within its powers to restore violated rights and lawful interests of participants in criminal proceedings and other persons.

3. Unless otherwise provided for by this Code, an appeal shall be reviewed and decided within three days after the appeal is submitted to the body or person authorised to make a decision on the appeal.

 

Article 98 – Decision on an appeal

1. Based on the review of an appeal, one of the following decisions may be delivered:

a) repeal or change the appealed decision or part of it;

b) reject the appeal.

2. An appeal and a decision made on it shall be attached to the criminal case file.

 

Article 99 – Notification of a decision on an appeal

The appellant shall be immediately notified of a decision made based on the review of an appeal. If an applicant is denied the granting of an appeal, a copy of the relevant decision shall be delivered to him/her in the manner provided for by this Code.

 

Special Part

 

Section IV

Investigation

 

Chapter XIV – Grounds for Investigation

 

Article 100 – Obligation to initiate an investigation

1. When notified of the commission of a crime, an investigator, prosecutor shall be obliged to initiate an investigation. An investigator shall immediately notify a prosecutor of the commencement of an investigation.

2. ( Deleted – 7.12.2010, No 3891) .

Law of Georgia No 3891 of 7 December 2010 – LHG I, No 67, 9.12.2010, Art. 418

 

Article 101 – Information on crime

1. The grounds for initiating an investigation shall be the information provided to an investigator or a prosecutor, or information revealed during criminal proceedings, or information published in the mass media.

2. Information on a crime may be reported in writing, orally or in any other way.

21. A person who reports a crime may request a written notice that confirms the notification of a crime.

3. A record shall be prepared if a crime is reported orally; it shall be signed by the applicant and the official receiving the report. An investigator may initiate an investigation based on an anonymous notification of a crime. A criminal prosecution may not be initiated against a person on the basis of only an anonymous notification.

4. A person who has attained the age of 14 shall be warned about the penalty for false denunciation, and written acknowledgement shall be obtained from that person.

Law of Georgia No 3616 of 24 September 2010 – LHG I, No 50, 24.9.2010, Art. 328

Law of Georgia No 2518 of 24 July 2014 – website, 6.8.2014

 

Article 102 – Referring cases according to jurisdiction

If, after initiating an investigation, it is discovered that the investigation of a criminal case is within the authority of another investigative agency, a prosecutor shall, after carrying out urgent investigative actions, immediately refer the case according to its jurisdiction.

 

Article 103 – Period of investigation

An investigation shall be carried out within a reasonable period, which shall not exceed the period of limitation prescribed by the Criminal Code of Georgia for criminal prosecution of the given crime.

 

Article 104 – Impermissibility of disclosing investigation data

1. A prosecutor/investigator shall be obliged to ensure that information on the progress of an investigation is not made public. For this purpose, he/she shall be entitled to obligate a participant in criminal proceedings not to disclose details of a case without his/her permission, and warn him/her about criminal liability.

2. Taking into account the interests of justice and of the parties involved, at any stage of investigation and court hearing, a court may, upon motion of a party or on its own initiative, deliver a decision ordering the participants in the case and/or persons present in the courtroom to protect certain details of the case under review from public disclosure. The violation of the above requirements shall result in criminal liability under the legislation of Georgia.

Law of Georgia No 6253 of 22 May 2012 – website, 29.5.2012

 

Article 105 – Grounds for terminating an investigation and/or grounds for refraining from initiating or for terminating a criminal prosecution

1. An investigation shall be terminated, and a criminal prosecution shall not be initiated or shall be terminated:

a) unless the act provided for by the criminal law takes place;

b) unless an act is unlawful;

c) if a new law annuls the criminality of an act;

d) if the law on which the charges are based has been recognised as unconstitutional;

e) if a period of limitation for criminal liability determined by the Criminal Code of Georgia has expired;

f) if an act of amnesty has been issued that discharges a person from criminal liability and punishment for the act committed;

g) if there exists a final judgment on the same charges, and/or a court ruling on the termination of criminal prosecution for the same charges;

h) if there exists a decision of a prosecutor on the termination of a criminal prosecution and/or of an investigation;

i) if a prosecutor has refused to bring charges in cases provided for and in the manner prescribed by this Code;

j) due to a voluntary abandonment of the commission of a crime (Article 21 of the Criminal Code of Georgia);

k) as a result of an active repentance (Articles 68 and 322 of the Criminal Code of Georgia and cases provided for by the notes to Articles 1641, 203, 221, 223, 2231, 2233, 2234, 236, 260, 3391, 3481, 371, 375, 388 and 389 of the same Code);

l) the situation has changed.

2. Except in cases provided for by paragraph 1 of this article, a criminal prosecution may not be initiated, and an already initiated prosecution shall be terminated if:

a) the accused person has not attained the age of criminal responsibility;

b) when committing a crime, the person was insane, which is confirmed by the report of a forensic psychiatric examination;

c) the accused has died;

d) an act provided for by Articles 2862, 3221, 344 or 362 of the Criminal Code of Georgia has been committed by a person due to being a victim of the crime provided for by Articles 1431 and/or 1432 of the Criminal Code of Georgia.

3. A criminal prosecution may also not be initiated or may be terminated if it contradicts the guidelines of criminal policy.

4. (Deleted – 12.6.2015, No 3715 ).

5. (Deleted – 12.6.2015, No 3715 ).

6. (Deleted – 12.6.2015, No 3715 ).

Law of Georgia No 3616 of 24 September 2010 – LHG I, No 50, 24.9.2010, Art. 328

Law of Georgia No 662 of 30 May 2013 – website, 24.6.2013

Law of Georgia No 741 of 14 June 2013 – website, 27.6.2013

Law of Georgia No 3715 of 12 June 2015 – website, 24.6.2015

Law of Georgia No 2153 of 18 April 2018 – website, 1.5.2018

Law of Georgia No 461 of 27 April 2021 – website, 4.5.2021

 

Article 106 – Decision to terminate an investigation and/or a criminal prosecution

1. A prosecutor shall, by a decree, decide to terminate an investigation and/or a criminal prosecution, except in cases provided for by paragraph 3 of this article. The prosecutor shall, within a week after making the decision, submit a copy of the decree to the victim. Before rendering a decree to terminate a criminal prosecution by exercising discretionary powers, the prosecutor shall be obliged to notify the victim of that fact and draw up a report in the manner prescribed by Article 56(51) of this Code.

11. A victim may appeal a decree of the prosecutor to terminate an investigation and/or a criminal prosecution to a superior prosecutor. A decision of the superior prosecutor shall be final and may not be appealed, except when a particularly serious crime, domestic violence under Article 1261 of the Criminal Code of Georgia, domestic crime under Article 111 of the same Code or a crime which, according to the law, is under jurisdiction of the Special Investigation Service, has been committed. In this case, if a superior prosecutor does not grant the appeal, the victim may appeal the decision of the prosecutor to a district (city) court, according to the place of investigation. A court shall deliver a judgment within 15 days, with or without an oral hearing. A decision made by the court may not be appealed.

2. The accused person, his/her defence lawyer and the victim shall be notified of the decision referred to in paragraph 1 of this article.

3. If a criminal prosecution is terminated based on Article 105(2)(b), a prosecutor shall be obliged to apply, according to the jurisdiction, to the appropriate court with a motion to deliver the decision provided for by Article 191(2) of this Code.

Law of Georgia No 2518 of 24 July 2014 – website, 6.8.2014

Law of Georgia No 2539 of 26 July 2014 – website, 6.8.2014

Law of Georgia No 3276 of 21 July 2018 – website, 9.8.2018

Law of Georgia No 4604 of 8 May 2019 – website, 8.5.2019

Law of Georgia No 5026 of 20 September 2019 – website, 1.10.2019

Law of Georgia No 1314 of 30 December 2021 – website, 13.01.2022

 

Article 107 – Appealing a ruling on the termination of a criminal prosecution

1. A ruling to terminate a criminal prosecution may be appealed by a prosecutor.

2. A court may review an appeal provided for by this article without an oral hearing. In the case of an oral hearing, a court shall announce the operative part of its ruling.

3. A ruling delivered with respect to an appeal provided for by this article may not be appealed.

 

Article 108 – Resuming a terminated criminal prosecution

1. If a superior prosecutor annuls a decree terminating a criminal prosecution or if a court repeals a decree/ruling on the termination of a criminal prosecution, and the period of limitation for prosecution has not expired, the criminal prosecution shall be resumed. In this case, the General Prosecutor of Georgia, or a person authorised by him/her, shall task another prosecutor with the duty to resume the criminal prosecution and to carry out other prosecutorial activities.

2. The accused, his/her defence lawyer and the victim shall be notified in writing of the resumption of the criminal prosecution.

Law of Georgia No 2518 of 24 July 2014 – website, 6.8.2014

Law of Georgia No 3814 of 30 November 2018 – website, 13.12.2018

 

Article 109 – Joinder of criminal cases

Criminal cases at the stage of investigation shall be joined by a decree of a prosecutor, and in court, by a court ruling upon motion of the relevant party.

 

Article 110 – Separation of a criminal case

1. At the stage of investigation, a prosecutor may separate one criminal case from another criminal case for individual proceedings.

2. In court, a criminal case shall be separated from another criminal case for individual proceedings under a court ruling delivered upon motion of a party.

 

Chapter XV Investigative Actions

 

Article 111 – General procedure for carrying out investigative actions

1. When carrying out investigative actions provided for by this Code, the parties shall enjoy equal rights and obligations. The parties shall carry out investigative actions in the manner and within the scope prescribed by this Code. Upon a reasoned motion of the defence, investigative actions shall be carried out by an investigator based on a court ruling, who may not be the same person as the one who is investigating the given case. An investigator shall be selected by the head of the appropriate investigative authority, and the defence shall be notified of his/her identity and contact details before an investigative action requested by a motion is carried out. In this case, the costs associated with carrying out investigative actions shall be borne by the accused, except when the accused presents to the court evidence that confirms that he/she is unable to reimburse these costs. The defence may participate in the investigative actions carried out at its request.

2. The right of the defence to file with the court a motion requesting the carrying out of investigative actions shall not apply to the circumstances provided for by Article 112(5) of this Code. Without the permission of the court, the defence may not carry out such investigative actions that, under this Code, require such permission.

3. Before initiating investigative actions, the person carrying out such actions shall inform the participants of their rights and obligations and the procedures for carrying out the investigative actions. A person carrying out an investigative action shall be obliged to provide an opportunity for participants to exercise their rights.

4. If a decree of an investigator or a court ruling serves as grounds for carrying out an investigative action, the investigator shall provide it to the person for whom it is mandatory to execute the decree (ruling), which he/she shall confirm by a signature.

5. An investigative action may not be carried out at night, except in the case of urgent necessity. An investigative action shall be carried out within a reasonable period.

6. When carrying out an investigative action, scientific-technical means and methods for the detection, recording and seizure of the traces of a crime and material evidence may be used.

7. When (a person) resists the carrying out of an investigative action, a proportional coercive measure may be applied.

8. When carrying out an investigative action, surgical or any other medical examination methods and means that cause a severe pain may be applied only in exceptional cases with the consent of the person to whom the above means are applied. If that person has not attained the age of 16 or that person is mentally ill, it shall be necessary to obtain the consent of the parent, guardian or custodian, or a court ruling.

9. If the carrying out of investigative actions requires special professional knowledge, the party shall carry out such actions with the involvement of an expert. If an investigative action involves the removal of a person’s clothing, the expert and the party shall be of the same gender as the person to be examined.

Law of Georgia No 3616 of 24 September 2010 – LHG I, No 50, 24.9.2010, Art 328

Law of Georgia No 741 of 14 June 2013 – website, 27.6.2013

 

Article 112 – Investigative actions carried out under a court ruling

1. An investigative action that restricts private property, ownership or the inviolability of private life, shall be carried out under a court ruling upon motion of a party. Not later than 24 hours after receiving a motion and the information required for its review, a judge shall decide the motion without an oral hearing. A judge may review a motion with the participation of the party that filed the motion. In this case, when reviewing a motion, the procedure provided for by Article 206 of this Code shall apply. The consent of a co-owner or co-holder or of one party of communication shall be sufficient to carry out an investigative action provided for by this paragraph without a court ruling.

2. A court ruling shall include: the date and place of its preparation; the name and surname of the judge; the person who filed the motion with the judge; a decree on the carrying out of an investigative action with a specific reference to its essence and persons it applies to; validity of the ruling; the person or the body responsible for executing the ruling; and the signature of the judge.

3. A ruling ordering a search or seizure shall also include: the movable and immovable property where an investigative action is permitted, and the natural or legal person that holds the property (if his/her identity is known); the natural person who is to be searched personally; a thing, item, substance or any other object likely to be uncovered and seized during a search or seizure, and its generic characteristics; and the right to apply a proportional coercive measure when resistance is offered. A ruling ordering search or seizure (except a ruling issued within the framework of international cooperation in criminal matters) shall be invalid, unless the investigative action is initiated within 30 days.

31. A ruling requesting the provision of the relevant information or document from a computer system or a computer data carrier shall also include the following: the natural or legal person, from whom the provision of information stored in a computer system or on a computer data carrier shall be requested (if his/her/its identity is known); the computer system or computer data carrier, according to its generic characteristics, from which the provision of computer data shall be requested; the presumable document or information to be provided from a computer system or a computer data carrier; and the right to apply a proportional coercive measure when resistance is offered. A ruling requesting the provision of the relevant information or document from a computer system or a computer data carrier (except a ruling issued within the framework of international cooperation in criminal matters) shall be invalid, unless the investigative action is initiated within 30 days.

4. A ruling ordering the arrest and seizure of a message sent by technical means of communication shall also include: the name and surname of the person to whom the message to be arrested is sent; the name and surname, and address (if known) of the sender; type of the arrested message; the date of arrest; the name of the institution that is tasked with arresting the message; and the right of an investigator to examine and seize the message.

5. An investigative action provided for by paragraph 1 of this article, in the case of urgent necessity, may also be carried out without a court ruling, when a delay may cause destruction of the factual data essential to the investigation, or when a delay makes it impossible to obtain the above data, or when an item, a document, substance or any other object containing information that is necessary for the case has been found during the carrying out of any other investigative action (if found only after a superficial examination), or when an actual risk of death or injury exists; in that case, the prosecutor shall, within 24 hours after initiating the above investigative action, notify a judge under whose jurisdiction the investigative action has been carried out, or according to the place of investigation, and hand over the materials of a criminal case (or their copies), which justify the necessity of carrying out the investigative action urgently. Within not later than 24 hours after receipt of the materials, the judge shall decide the motion without an oral hearing. The judge may review a motion with the participation of the parties (provided that a criminal prosecution has been initiated) and the person against whom an investigative action has been carried out. When reviewing a motion, the judge shall check the lawfulness of the investigative action carried out without a court decision. To take explanations, the judge may summon a person who carried out the investigative actions without a court ruling. In this case, when reviewing a motion, the procedure provided for by Article 206 of this Code shall apply.

6. After reviewing materials, the court shall deliver a ruling:

a) finding the carried out investigative action as lawful;

b) finding the carried out investigative action as unlawful and finding the information received as inadmissible evidence.

7. A court may hear a motion provided for by this article, without an oral hearing.

8. A court ruling delivered under this article shall be appealed in the manner provided for by Article 207 of this Code. The time limit for appealing a ruling shall commence from the day when the judgment is enforced.

Law of Georgia No 3616 of 24 September 2010 – LHG I, No 50, 24.9.2010, Art. 328

Law of Georgia No 4631 of 5 May 2011 – website, 19.5.2011

Law of Georgia No 6549 of 22 June 2012 – website, 4.7.2012

Law of Georgia No 665 of 21 April 2017 – website, 10.5.2017

Law of Georgia No 1575 of 24 May 2022 – website, 6.6.2022

 

Article 113 – Procedure for interview

1. Any person who may have information that is important to the case may be voluntarily interviewed by the parties. An interviewee may not be forced to provide evidence or disclose information.

2. An interviewee shall have the right to use the services of a defence lawyer at his/her own expense, not to disclose information against himself/herself or a close relative. The person conducting the interview shall inform the interviewee of these rights, as well as of the rights provided for by Article 50 of this Code, before the start of an interview.

3. Before an interview, the identity of the interviewee and other necessary information shall be established. That information shall be included in the record of the interview.

4. The party conducting the interview shall inform the interviewee that the interview is voluntary. A note to this effect shall be entered into the record of the interview.

5. An interviewee shall, both in the case of consent or refusal to be interviewed, provide the interviewer with correct personal details.

6. If an interviewee consents to the interview, he/she shall provide the party conducting the interview with correct information on the circumstances known to him/her.

7. The party conducting an interview shall warn the person in writing about the potential criminal liability in the case of false denunciation (crime provided for by Article 373 of the Criminal Code of Georgia) and the provision of false information (crime provided for by Article 370 of the Criminal Code of Georgia). A note to this effect shall be entered into the record of the interview.

8. If an interviewee refuses to be interviewed, the party may inform the interviewee that he/she may be summoned before the magistrate judge to give testimony, and that the giving of testimony is obligatory and that the failure to perform this obligation shall result in the criminal liability of the interviewee. This information shall be entered into the record.

9. Audio and/or video recording technical means may be used during an interview. The interviewee shall be notified in advance of their use.

10. Unless this Code provides otherwise, the provisions of this article shall apply to an accused person as well.

11. A prosecutor, or an investigator with the consent of a prosecutor, shall be authorised to interview, remotely with the use of electronic means, a person staying within the territory of a foreign state without sending a motion for rendering legal assistance if interviewing a person using such procedure is permitted by an respective international agreement of Georgia, the law of the host state of this person, and/or by the clearly defined practice of this state.

12. A person may not be interviewed in the manner prescribed by paragraph 11 of this article unless an interviewee has explicitly expressed consent to the interview.

13. A person may be interviewed in the manner prescribed by paragraphs 11 and 12 of this article at the investigation stage as well.

Law of Georgia No 4677 of 18 December 2015 – website, 29.12.2015

Law of Georgia No 3157 of 20 July 2018 – website, 6.8.2018

Law of Georgia No 5862 of 20 March 2020 – website, 23.3.2020

 

Article 114 – Procedure for examining a person as a witness during an investigation

1. At the stage of investigation, a person may be examined as a witness, upon motion of both the defence and the prosecution, before a magistrate judge according to the place of investigation or the location of the witness if:

a) there is an actual risk to the life or health of the witness, which may interfere with his/her examination during a hearing on the merits;

b) he/she intends to leave Georgia for a long period;

c) the collection of evidence from other sources, necessary for the conduct of a hearing on the merits, requires unreasonable effort;

d) this is necessary for the application of a special measure of protection.

2. An interviewee may also be examined as a witness, upon motion of the prosecution, before a magistrate judge according to the place of investigation or the location of the witness if there is a fact and/or information that would satisfy an objective person that the person in question may hold information necessary for ascertaining the circumstances of the criminal case and if this person refuses to be interviewed. The defence may exercise the same right in the manner prescribed by this Code.

21. An interviewee may also be examined as a witness, upon motion of the defence, before a magistrate judge according to the place of investigation or the location of the witness if there is a fact and/or information that would satisfy an objective person that the person in question may hold information necessary for ascertaining the circumstances of the criminal case and if the examination of this person is important to the defence and if this person also refuses to be interviewed.

22. The right of the defence provided for by paragraph 21 of this article shall not extend to:

a) the employees of a body carrying out covert investigative actions/their superior officials, in connection with covert investigative actions performed/to be performed;

b) the employees of a body carrying out operative and investigative activities/their superior officials/persons involved in the carrying out of operative and investigative activities, in connection with operative and investigative activities performed/to be performed;

c) prosecutors, investigators, their superior officials, in connection with actions performed/to be performed in accordance with this Code.

3. Giving a testimony before a magistrate judge in the manner provided for by this article shall be mandatory and a refusal to give testimony shall result in criminal liability. This rule shall not apply in the case specified in paragraph 15(b) of this article.

4. In the case provided for by paragraph 2 of this article, the reasonableness of filing a motion for the examination of a person as a witness before the magistrate judge shall be decided by the prosecutor. The prosecutor may address the magistrate judge in person or instruct the investigator to file the motion.

5. In cases provided for by this article, a party shall file a motion with a magistrate judge according to the place of investigation or the location of the witness. The motion shall indicate the name, surname, address and information necessary for the identification of the person, and the reasons for examining the person as a witness before a magistrate judge. In cases provided for by paragraph 21 of this article, the motion of the defence shall also include substantiation that examining an interviewee before a magistrate judge is important.

6. A magistrate judge shall hear the motion without an oral hearing. If the motion is granted, the examination of a witness shall start within a reasonable time, but not later than 24 hours after the motion is filed with the court. This period may be extended by a decision of the magistrate judge if the witness is unable to appear in court in the specified time due to a valid reason. A witness shall not be examined during night time. The examination shall be stopped at the fall of night and shall be postponed to the next day.

7. In the case of denial of the motion, the magistrate judge shall render a reasoned ruling and send/deliver it to the party initiating the examination. The ruling dismissing the motion may be appealed only once, within 24 hours after it is rendered, to the investigation panel of a court of appeal. The judge of the investigation panel of the court of appeal shall hear the appeal sitting alone within 24 hours after the appeal is filed. If the appeal is satisfied, the ruling of the judge of the investigation panel of the court of appeal shall be immediately sent to the initiator of the appeal and the magistrate judge who issued the reasoned ruling. In this case, the examination of a witness before the magistrate judge shall start within a reasonable time, but not later than 24 hours after the ruling rendered by the judge of the investigation panel of the court of appeal is delivered to the magistrate judge. This period may be extended in by a decision of the magistrate judge if the witness is unable to appear within the specified time due to valid reasons.

8. If the motion provided for by this article is granted, the court shall call a person to be examined as a witness by a summons, phone or other technical means of communication. The summons/any other notice shall indicate who, for what purpose, before whom and at which address the person is called, also the exact time of appearance, and the consequences of the failure to appear without valid reasons. If a witness fails to appear, the procedure established by Article 149 of this Code shall apply. In such cases, the periods established by paragraphs 6 and 7 of this article shall not apply. The examination of a witness shall start once he/she appears, within a reasonable period. The party initiating the examination may, on its own, arrange the appearance before the magistrate judge of the person to be examined as a witness, with the written consent of this person.

9. In cases provided for by paragraph 1(a-d), paragraphs 2 and 21, and paragraph 15(b) of this article, a person shall be examined as a witness with the participation of the parties. If the party initiating the examination fails to appear, the witness shall not be examined. The non-appearance of the other party shall not interfere with the examination. In the interests of justice and/or for the purpose of protecting the life, health, property or private life of a participant in criminal proceedings, upon a reasonable motion of the party and the decision of the magistrate judge, a witness may be examined without prior notification and participation of the other party. In this case, the testimony given by the witness shall be considered as inadmissible evidence during the hearing on the merits if the witness can be examined again.

10. (Deleted – 20.3.2020, No 5862).

11. A witness may use the services of a defence lawyer.

12. In cases provided for by this article a witness shall be examined at a closed hearing in accordance with Article 115 of this Code. The restriction provided for by Article 115(4) of this Code shall not apply during the examination of a person as a witness before a magistrate judge.

13. Immediately after the end of a witness examination, the magistrate judge shall ensure that the testimony given by the witness before the court is delivered to the party initiating the examination both in written and electronic form.

14. The party may file a motion during the preliminary hearing requesting the court to recognise as inadmissible the testimony of a person examined as a witness before the magistrate judge if it believes that this person was examined before the magistrate judge in substantial violation of law.

15. At the stage of investigation, a person may also be examined before the magistrate judge according to the location of the person to be examined if:

a) a request of a competent foreign agency for legal assistance has been received on the basis of an international agreement of Georgia, individual agreement or terms of reciprocity;

b) a person to be examined is summoned in the manner prescribed by Article 7 of the Law of Georgia on International Cooperation in Criminal Matters.

16. The provisions of this article shall not apply to accused persons.

Law of Georgia No 3616 of 24 September 2010 – LHG I, No 50, 24.9.2010, Art. 328

Law of Georgia No 3891 of 7 December 2010 – LHG I, No 67, 9.12.2010, Art. 418

Law of Georgia No 5170 of 28 October 2011 – website, 11.11.2011

Law of Georgia No 4677 of 18 December 2015 – website, 29.12.2015

Ruling of the Constitutional Court of Georgia No 2/12/1237 of 24 October 2019 – website, 29.10.2019

Law of Georgia No 5862 of 20 March 2020 – website, 23.3.2020

 

Article 115 – General rules of examination

1. Before starting an examination, the court shall establish the identity of the witness. The court shall explain to the witness, after the latter takes an oath, his/her rights and obligations, the case for which he/she has been summoned, also the obligation to disclose all information on the case known to him/her, and warn him/her about criminal liability for refusal to give testimony, or for providing false testimony; the court shall also inform the witness that he/she is not obliged to give incriminating testimony against himself/herself or his/her relatives. The court shall also establish the type of relationship of a witness with the accused and the victim.

2. Upon the commencement of an examination, the party who initiates the summons shall invite a witness to disclose all information on the case that is known to him/her. It shall be prohibited to interrupt a witness when the latter gives answers; however, if the witness talks about circumstances that clearly are not related to the case under review, the judge may, upon motion of the party, interrupt him/her. After that, the person who initiated the examination may, for the purpose of completeness and clarification of the testimony given by the person to be examined, ask the witness questions in accordance with Article 244 of this Code. Upon completion of direct examination, an opposing party shall be entitled to conduct a cross examination of a witness in the manner provided for by Article 245 of this Code.

3. A witness may only be examined with regard to circumstances that are essential to the case under review.

4. A question on previous convictions may be put to a witness if it is necessary to establish the reliability of the witness.

5. If it is difficult for a witness to verbally describe the event that he/she has witnessed, he/she may make his/her testimony using other forms of expression, in particular, by a drawing, a scheme, a sketch or any other similar form.

6. During the examination, a witness may use a document, a record or any other object containing information.

7. The parties may request the person to be examined to provide the document, the record or any other object containing information that he/she used during the examination, and return it to the person after its examination or enclose it with the case files.

8. During the examination, the parties may present to a witness an item, a document or any other object containing information enclosed with the case files.

Law of Georgia No 4677 of 18 December 2015 – website, 29.12.2015

 

Article 116 – (Deleted)

Law of Georgia No 1729 of 11 December 2013 – website, 25.12.2013

Law of Georgia No 3715 of 12 June 2015 – website, 24.6.2015

 

Article 117 – Interviewing/examining persons with disabilities and seriously ill persons

1. Persons with disabilities shall be interviewed/examined taking into account appropriate disability adjustments to ensure that they efficiently perform their roles of direct and indirect participants.

2. Persons with disabilities shall be interviewed/examined with the participation of sign language interpreters. If a person to be interviewed/examined is deaf, he/she can be asked questions in writing. If the person is mute, he/she may answer the questions in writing.

3. A seriously ill person shall be interviewed/examined with the permission of and, if necessary, in the presence of a physician.

Law of Georgia No 4677 of 18 December 2015 – website, 29.12.2015

Law of Georgia No 6842 of 14 July 2020 – website, 28.7.2020

 

Article 118 – Examination of a witness during a hearing on the merits

1. A witness for the prosecution shall first be examined by the prosecutor and then by the defence, and vice versa.

2. A witness shall be examined separately from witnesses who have not yet been examined. At the same time, the court shall take measures to ensure that witnesses summoned for the same case, do not interact with each other until the end of their examination. After the end of an examination, the judge shall inform the witness of his/her right to be present during the court session.

3. A witness, who is not able to appear before a court for examination due to circumstances provided for by Article 114(1)(a), (b) and (d) of this Code, shall not be examined. In this case, his/her pre-trial testimony shall be made public at the hearing on the merits. Only this testimony may not serve as grounds for a judgment of conviction, unless it is corroborated by any other evidence that proves the guilt of the person.

Law of Georgia No 3891 of 7 December 2010 – LHG I, No 67, 9.12.2010, Art. 418

Law of Georgia No 2518 of 24 July 2014 – website, 6.8.2014

Law of Georgia No 4677 of 18 December 2015 – website, 29.12.2015

 

Article 119 – Purpose and grounds for search and seizure

1. If there is a probable cause, a search shall be conducted for the purpose of uncovering and seizing an item, a document, substance or any other object containing information that is essential to the case.

2. A search may also be conducted to find a wanted person or a corpse.

3. An item, a document, substance or any other object containing information that is essential to the case may be seized if there is probable cause that it is kept in a certain place, with a certain person and if there is no need to search for it.

4. A search to seize an item, a document, substance or any other object containing information that is essential to the case may be conducted if there is probable cause that it is kept in a certain place, with a certain person and if search is necessary to discover it.

(The normative content of Article 119(1) and (4) and Article 121(1), which considers the result of the search as one of the grounds for creating a probable cause required for the conduct of a search, has been declared invalid) – Decision of the Constitutional Court of Georgia No 2/2/1276 of 25 December 2020 – website, 30.12.2020

Decision of the Constitutional Court of Georgia No 2/2/1276 of 25 December 2020 – website, 30.12.2020

 

Article 120 – Procedure for seizure and search

1. Based on a court ruling authorising search or seizure or, in the case of urgent necessity, based on a decree of an investigator, an investigator may enter a storage facility, a dwelling place, a storage room or other property to locate and seize an item, a document, substance or any other object containing information.

2. Before starting a seizure or search, an investigator shall be obliged to present a court order, or in the case of urgent necessity, a decree, to a person subjected to the seizure or search. The presentation of the ruling (decree) shall be confirmed by the signature of the person subject to search.

3. An investigator may forbid the persons who are present or who arrive at the place of search, to leave the place, to interact with each other or with any other person before the search is completed, which shall be recorded in the appropriate record.

4. After a ruling, or in the case of urgent necessity, a decree, is presented, an investigator shall offer the person subject to search, to voluntarily turn over an item, a document, substance or any other object containing information that is subject to seizure. If an object that is subject to seizure is voluntarily provided, that fact shall be recorded in the relevant record. In the case of refusal to voluntarily turn over the requested object, or in the case of its incomplete provision, it shall be seized by coercion.

5. During a search, an item, a document, substance or any other object containing information that is referred to in a ruling or decree shall be searched for and seized. Also, all other objects containing information that may be of an evidentiary value for that case, or that clearly indicates another crime, as well as an item, a document, substance or any other object containing information that has been withdrawn from civil circulation.

6. An item, a document, substance or any other object containing information that has been detected during a search or seizure, shall, if possible, be presented, before its seizure, to persons participating in that investigative action. Then, it shall be seized, described in detail, sealed and, if possible, packaged. On the packaged item, in addition to a seal, the date and signatures of the persons who participated in the investigative action shall be indicated. A document that is seized due to its contents, shall not be sealed.

7. During a search or seizure, an investigator may open a closed storage facility, dwelling place and premises, if the person subject to search refuses to voluntarily open them.

8. A person present at the place of search and/or seizure may be personally searched if there is a probable cause that he/she has concealed an item, a document, subject or any other object that is subject to seizure. Such case shall be considered an urgent necessity and a personal search shall be conducted without a court ruling. The lawfulness of the search and/or seizure shall be examined by the court in the manner provided for by this Code.

9. A search or seizure of a legal person or in a building of an administrative body shall be conducted in the presence of its head or representative.

10. The prosecution shall have a right to initial investigation of items, documents, things, substances, or any other objects containing information, which have been obtained at the request of the defence, in the manner prescribed by this Code.

Law of Georgia No 3616 of 24 September 2010 – LHG I, No 50, 24.9.2010, Art. 328

Law of Georgia No 6549 of 22 June 2012 – website, 4.7.2012

Law of Georgia No 741 of 14 June 2013 – website, 27.6.2013

Law of Georgia No 3090 of 19 February 2015 – website, 6.3.2015

Decision of the Constitutional Court of Georgia No 1/4/809 of 14 December 2018 – website, 20.12.2018

Law of Georgia No 5186 of 17 October 2019 – website, 23.10.2019

 

Article 121 – Personal search

1. A prosecutor, an investigator, or a person authorised to arrest , shall have the right, if there is probable cause, to seize during a personal search conducted in the manner prescribed by Article 120 of this Code, an item, a document, substance or any other object containing information that is essential to the case and that has been discovered on the person’s clothes, in the item that he/she is holding, in a vehicle or on or in that person’s body.

(The normative content of Article 119(1) and (4) and Article 121(1), which considers the result of the search as one of the grounds for creating a probable cause required for the conduct of a search, has been declared invalid) – Decision of the Constitutional Court of Georgia No 2/2/1276 of 25 December 2020 – website, 30.12.2020

2. If there is probable cause that the arrested person has a weapon, or intends to dispose of evidence indicating his/her involvement in the commission of a crime, an arresting official may, in the manner prescribed by this Code, conduct a personal search without a court judgment, which shall be recorded in a record of arrest. In this case, a record of a personal search shall not be prepared. The lawfulness of a personal search shall be checked by the court in the manner provided for by this Code.

3. An arresting natural person may disarm the arrested person.

4. If a personal search involves the removal of the person’s clothing, the search shall be conducted by a person of the same sex. Only persons of the same sex may participate in this kind of search.

Law of Georgia No 3616 of 24 September 2010 – LHG I, No 50, 24.9.2010, Art. 328

Law of Georgia No 6549 of 22 June 2012 – website, 4.7.2012

Decision of the Constitutional Court of Georgia No 2/2/1276 of 25 December 2020 – website, 30.12.2020

 

Article 122 – Seizure and search conducted in a building of a diplomatic mission and with respect to diplomatic representatives

1. A seizure or search in the territory of a diplomatic mission, also with respect to persons holding diplomatic immunity, as well as in a building or vehicle occupied by these persons and/or their family members may be conducted only with the consent or request of the head of that diplomatic mission.

2. Consent of the head of a diplomatic mission allowing the conduct of a seizure or search shall be requested through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia.

3. A representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia shall be obliged to attend a seizure or search in cases provided for by paragraph 1 of this article.

Law of Georgia No 3616 of 24 September 2010 – LHG I, No 50, 24.9.2010, Art. 328

 

Article 123 – Search, seizure and arrest of property in the editorial offices of the mass media and publishing houses, on the premises of research, educational, religious, public organisations and political parties

1. An item, a document, substance or any other research, educational object containing information may not be searched, seized and/or arrested in editorial offices of the mass media and publishing houses, or on the premises of research, educational, religious, public organisations and political parties if there is a reasonable expectation of its public dissemination.

2. The restriction provided for by paragraph 1 of this article shall not apply to cases where there is probable cause that an item, a document, substance or any other object containing information that is subject so seizure is a subject or implement of a crime.

3. A court shall be entitled to pass a ruling on a search, seizure and/or arrest only in cases when there are obvious and convincing grounds that the carrying out of an investigative action will not prejudice the right to freedom of speech, opinion, conscience, belief, religion or right to association. That investigative action shall be carried out in a manner that is efficient and that minimally restricts those rights and freedoms.

 

Article 124 – Return of a seized object

1. If a seized item, document, substance or any other object containing information is not presented by the party as evidence in court, it shall be returned to the person from whom it was seized.

2. If a third party claims an item, a document, substance or any other object containing information that is returned in accordance with this article, the dispute shall be resolved through a civil procedure.

 

Article 1241 – Monitoring of bank accounts

1. If there is probable cause that a person performs a criminal action through a bank account (accounts), and/or for the purpose of searching for/identifying property that is subject to confiscation, a prosecutor may, with the consent of the General Prosecutor of Georgia or his/her deputy, file a motion with a court, according to the place of investigation, and request a ruling authorising the monitoring of the bank accounts; under this ruling, a bank shall be obliged to collaborate with the investigation and disclose real-time information on the transactions performed on one or several bank accounts.

2. The information referred to in paragraph 1 of this article shall be reported to the authority conducting the criminal case as soon as the transaction is performed.

3. If an amount is transferred or withdrawn from a bank account, this information shall be reported to the authority conducting the case, before the transaction is performed.

4. The period of monitoring of bank accounts shall not be longer than the period required for obtaining evidence for a criminal case.

5. The court shall review a motion provided for by paragraph 1 of this article in the manner prescribed by Article 112 of this Code.

Law of Georgia No 5170 of 28 October 2011 – website, 11.11.2011

Law of Georgia No 3814 of 30 November 2018 – website, 13.12.2018

 

Article 125 – Inspection

1. To discover a trace of a crime, the material evidence, or to establish the details of an incident and other circumstances essential to a criminal case, a party may inspect the crime scene, a storage facility, a dwelling place, premises, a corpse, an item, a document or any other object that contains information.

2. If private property is to be inspected, the inspection shall be conducted under a court ruling. A court ruling shall not be required for an inspection conducted by a party in the event of an absolute necessity, or when the owner (holder) expresses his/her consent in writing. A court ruling shall not be required either for the inspection of publicly available information, document or data.

Law of Georgia No 1575 of 24 May 2022 – website, 6.6.2022

 

Article 126 – General procedure for inspection

1. An item, a document, substance or any other object containing information discovered during a search, shall, if possible, be presented, before its seizure, to persons participating in the investigative action. Then, it shall be seized, described in detail, sealed and, if possible, packaged. In addition to a seal, the date and the signatures of the persons who participated in the investigative action shall be indicated on the packaged item. A person participating in an inspection may draw the attention of the party to everything that, in his/her opinion, may contribute to the establishment of circumstances essential to the case.

2. If an inspection of a seized item, document, substance or information requires a long time or additional technical means, an investigative action may be continued at the place of the conduct of the investigation.

3. An inspection may be conducted by technical means, unless it destroys or damages an item, a document, substance or any other object containing information, or a trace thereon.

 

Article 127 – Inspection of a crime scene and other locations

1. A crime scene shall be inspected at the location where the crime has been committed or where traces of the crime have been discovered. Until the completion of an inspection, the crime scene shall be secured.

11. Where there is a risk of destruction, loss or damage of evidence with regard to criminal cases provided for by Articles 276 and 281 of the Criminal Code of Georgia, the authorised official responsible for the protection of the crime scene may, before starting the inspection of the crime scene, record the evidence using technical means and store it.

2. If it is necessary to conduct an inspection in a residential place, a closed territory or at a work place against the will of those in possession of the premises, the party shall file a motion with a court. If there are grounds provided for by Article 112 of this Code, the court shall render a ruling authorising the inspection. The ruling shall be presented to the person on whose premises the inspection is conducted and the presentation shall be verified by his/her signature. If an inspection is conducted on the premises of a legal person or an administrative body, the ruling shall be presented to its head or representative and the presentation shall be verified by his/her signature.

3. In the case of an urgent necessity, the investigative action provided for by this article shall be carried out in the manner prescribed by Article 112(5) of this Code.

Law of Georgia No 5743 of 2 March 2012 – website, 9.3.2012

 

Article 128 – Examination of a corpse

1. A corpse shall be externally examined by the party with an expert’s participation.

2. It shall be mandatory to take fingerprints and a sample for expert examination from an unidentified corpse.

3. It shall be prohibited to bury or cremate an unidentified corpse without a prosecutor’s permission, except when human life or health is endangered.

4. The transfer of an abandoned corpse and/or an unidentified corpse to educational and research institutions, and to a medical and/or expert institution for training and/or scientific research purposes shall be performed by permission of a prosecutor, which shall be passed for enforcement to the body conducting the investigation.

Law of Georgia No 2157 of 18 April 2018 – website, 4.5.2018

 

Article 129 – Purpose of conducting an investigative experiment

To verify the information (testimony) obtained and the theories developed during the investigation, a party may conduct an investigative experiment.

 

Article 130 – Procedure for conducting an investigative experiment

1. An expert may be invited to participate in an investigative experiment. Other persons may also be involved in testing activities.

2. A person whose testimony (information provided by him/her) is to be verified may be invited to participate in an investigative experiment. The parties may participate in an investigative experiment. The participants in an investigative experiment shall be informed of the purpose and procedure for conducting the experiment.

3. If an investigative experiment is conducted to re-enact the circumstances under examination, it shall correspond to the information (testimony) or theory to be verified. A person whose testimony (information provided by him/her) is being checked, shall be asked to recollect the circumstances of the incident in which he/she participated or which he/she witnessed. If necessary, multiple investigative experiments shall be conducted.

4. An investigative experiment shall be approximated, as much as possible, to the circumstances in which the incident subject to re-enactment occurred.

5. If an investigative experiment is conducted for the purpose of verifying the information (testimony) on site, a party shall, in the presence of all participants in the investigative action, read out the information (testimony) to be verified, and ask the person who provided the information (testimony) to confirm or clarify the information (testimony) provided. This shall be accompanied by a demonstration of certain actions and clarification of the information (testimony) provided by him/her.

6. Information (testimony) provided by several persons may not be simultaneously checked on site.

7. A person whose information (testimony) is confirmed on site, shall provide explanations without other persons’ involvement, or prompting and leading questions.

8. A participant in an investigative action may ask questions, request the repetition of the action, participate in the inspection of the discovered item, document, trace or any other object containing information, and draw the attention of the party and of other participants to the circumstances that, in his/her opinion, are essential to the case.

 

Article 131 – Presenting a person and object for identification

1. During an investigation, presenting a person (or object) for identification shall take place with the consent of the identifying person.

2. Before identification, the identifying person shall, under this Code, be interviewed/questioned with respect to individual and generic characteristics of the object to be identified, and to the circumstances under which he/she came into contact with the object to be identified. During the identification, the identifying person shall indicate the characteristics by means of which he/she identified the object to be identified.

3. A person to be identified shall be presented to the identifying person together with at least two persons of the same sex who do not differ significantly, in appearance and clothes, from each other and from the person to be identified (line up).

4. An object to be identified shall be presented to the identifying person together with at least two other similar objects. The identifying person shall be asked to indicate the object that he/she is able to identify and to indicate the characteristics by means of which he/she has identified it.

5. When an object to be identified cannot be presented for identification to the identifying person, or if that requires unreasonable effort, the identification may be conducted by means of a photograph. In this case, the identifying person shall be presented with at least three other photographs depicting the objects that do not differ significantly from each other and from the object to be identified. Photographs may be presented for identification in electronic form.

6. Identification shall not be conducted, and if conducted, it shall be considered as inadmissible evidence, if the identifying person indicates characteristics that are not sufficient for the identification of an object subject to identification, or if the identifying person was given a hint as to that object.

7. The identifying person may not repeatedly identify the same object, except when the previous identification was conducted by a photograph.

8. When identifying a corpse, its part, or any object the analogue of which cannot be selected, the identification shall be conducted only according to one object to be identified.

9. An identification is not required if the identifying person provides personal details of the person to be identified and such details allow for exact identification of that person.

Law of Georgia No 3616 of 24 September 2010 – LHG I, No 50, 24.9.2010, Art. 328

Law of Georgia No 6549 of 22 June 2012 – website, 4.7.2012

Law of Georgia No 4677 of 18 December 2015 – website, 29.12.2015

 

Article 132 – Grounds for and purpose of exhumation

1. To establish circumstances important to the case, an exhumation (removal of a corpse from a grave) may be performed under a court ruling issued upon motion of a party.

2. The party shall, according to the place of investigation, file a motion with a magistrate judge who shall, without an oral hearing, review the motion within 48 hours after it has been filed. The court ruling may not be appealed.

3. A judgment on the exhumation shall be binding for the administration of the place of burial (if any), for relatives of the deceased and for other persons.

 

Article 133 – Procedure for exhumation

1. Exhumation shall be performed in the manner provided for by Article 112(1) of this Code, based on a court ruling according to the place of investigation, with the participation of a representative of the administration of the place of burial (if any). An expert shall be involved in the exhumation. It shall be mandatory for a prosecutor to participate in this investigative action.

2. Relatives of the deceased may attend the exhumation.

 

Article 134 – General provisions about a record of an investigative action

1. A record of an investigative action shall be prepared during the investigative action or upon its completion.

2. A record of an investigative action may be written by hand or prepared by technical means.

3. A record of an investigative action shall include: the place and date of carrying out the investigative action; time of its commencement and completion, conditions of carrying out the investigative action; the position and surname of the person who has carried out the investigative action; names and surnames and, if required, the addresses of the participants in the investigative action. The record shall contain circumstances essential to the case, as well as statements and remarks of the participants in the investigative action.

4. If, during an investigative action, an audio and/or video recording technical means were used, or if prints or imprints of traces were made, or if a drawing or a scheme was drafted, the record of the investigative action shall contain the technical characteristics of the technical means applied, as well as the conditions for their use and the results received. Participants in an investigative action shall be notified in advance of the use of technical means, and a relevant note to that effect shall be made into the record. The materials referred to in this paragraph and containing information shall be sealed, signed by the participants in the investigative action and be attached to the case files.

5. After a record of an investigative action is prepared, it shall be presented to all the participants in the investigative action. They shall also be informed of their right to state their remarks, make additions or amendments, which shall be included in the record. All remarks, additions or amendments included in the record shall be confirmed by the signature.

6. A record of an investigative action shall be signed by all the participants in the investigative action. If a participant in an investigative action refuses to sign the record, a respective note shall be made in the record, which shall be confirmed by a signature of the person carrying out the investigative action. A person who refuses to sign the record shall be given an opportunity to explain the reason for refusal, which shall also be included in the record. If a participant in an investigative action is not able, due to his/her physical impairment or health condition, to sign the record, a third person shall be invited to sign the record instead of that participant.

Law of Georgia No 6549 of 22 June 2012 – website, 4.7.2012

 

Article 135 – Special characteristics of preparing a record of individual investigative actions

1. A record of interview shall include the name, surname, age, citizenship, education, work place, occupation and/or position, address, marital status of the interviewee, as well as his/her relations with the accused or the victim, the contents of the information he/she provides, his/her opinion about appearing and testifying before a court, as well as other information specified in Article 113 of this Code.

2. A record of arrest, search and/or seizure shall indicate: the place and circumstances of discovering an item, a document, substance or any other object containing information; also, whether it has been handed over voluntarily or removed forcibly. All objects shall be described in the record by indicating their quantity, weight, value (if possible), individual and generic characteristics. If, when conducting a seizure or search, there is an attempt to destroy or conceal a searched for item, document, substance or any other object containing information, and/or a person to be searched or any other person offers resistance, this shall be indicated in the record. A copy of the record of seizure or search shall be handed over to the person on whose premises the search or seizure was conducted, or to his/her adult family member, or in their absence, to the owner of the house and/or to a third person (a neighbour, a close relative, a representative of the relevant municipal body) who attended the seizure or search. If a seizure or search is conducted in the territory of a legal person, administrative body, or of a diplomatic mission, a copy of the record shall be handed over to the representative of the legal person, administrative body or the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia, respectively, who was present during the investigative action.

3. A record of arrest, inspection and seizure of a communication made through technical means of communication, also a record of inspection of a temporarily suspended communication shall indicate which communication made by technical means of communication was inspected and seized, which is to be delivered to the addressee or which is to be temporarily suspended and for how long, also which correspondence was copied, which technical means were used and what was revealed as a result.

4. A record of inspection shall include a description of all discovered traces, items, documents or other objects containing information, by indicating their individual and/or generic characteristics. A record shall indicate the time, weather and light conditions of the inspection, as well as technical means of the inspection and the results obtained, also the persons participating in the investigative action, and which item, document, substance or any other object containing information was sealed. The record shall also indicate the individual signs of the seal and the place to which the corpse and/or any other object essential to the case was sent after the inspection. A copy of the record shall be handed over to the holder of the seized object. If an item, a document, substance or any other object containing information is seized, no separate record shall be drawn up, and that investigative action shall be described in a record of inspection.

5. A record of an investigative experiment shall include: the purpose, location and conditions of the experiment, the persons who attended and participated in it; specific facts that confirm the re-enactment of the circumstances of the incident; the substance of the information (testimony) obtained on site; the item, document, substance or any other object containing information that has been discovered, inspected and seized; clarifications the person made with respect to his/her information (testimony); the testing activities, their sequence, the persons carrying them out, and their frequency, and the results.

6. A record of identification shall include the identity of the identifying person and of the person to be identified (including his/her address), also individual and/or generic characteristics of any other object presented for identification.

7. During an exhumation, no separate record of inspection or identification shall be drawn up, and the contents of that investigative action shall be included in the record of exhumation.

Law of Georgia No 6549 of 22 June 2012 – website, 4.7.2012

Law of Georgia No 4677 of 18 December 2015 – website, 29.12.2015

Law of Georgia No 6949 of 15 July 2020 – website, 28.7.2020

 

Chapter XVI – Investigative Actions Related to Computer Data

Law of Georgia No 3616 of 24 September 2010 – LHG I, No 50, 24.9.2010, Art. 328

 

Article 136 – Requesting a document or information

1. If there is a reasonable cause to believe that information or documents essential to the criminal case are stored in a computer system or on a computer data carrier, the prosecutor or the defence may file a motion with a court, according to the place of investigation, to issue a ruling requesting the provision of the relevant information or document. In the case of urgent necessity, investigative actions provided for by this article may be carried out on the basis of a prosecutor’s resolution in accordance with the procedure determined by Article 112(5) of this Code.

2. If there is a reasonable cause to believe that a person is carrying out a criminal act through a computer system, the prosecutor may request a court, according to the place of investigation, to deliver a ruling ordering the service provider to provide information about the user.

3. For the purposes of this article, information about the user shall be any information that a service provider stores as computer data or in any other form that is related to the users of its services, differs from internet traffic and content data and which can be used to establish/determine:

a) the type of communication services and technical means used, and the time of service;

b) the identity of the user, mail or residential address, phone numbers and other contact details, information on accounts and taxes, which are available based on a service contract or agreement;

c) any other information on the location of the installed communications equipment, which is available based on a service contract or agreement.

[ 3 1 . For the purposes of investigation of crimes, criminal prosecution and administration of justice, as well as for the purposes provided for by Article 138 1 of this Code, only those electronic communication identification data, for the storage of which the time limit established by Article 8 5 of the Law of Georgia on Electronic Communications has not expired, may be requested from an electronic communication company. (Shall become effective from 1 March 2024) ]

4. (Deleted – 24.5.2022, No 1575).

41. The provisions of Articles 111, 112 and 134 shall apply to investigative actions provided for by this article.

42. An investigator shall have the right to submit a request to an electronic communication company under the Law of Georgia on Electronic Communications, which provides mobile communication networks and means and/or services, in writing or through the unified tracking system of mobile communication equipment, for immediately notifying the fact of identification of activation of mobile communication equipment appropriated as a result of the alleged commission of a crime and, if necessary, for immediately notifying that it has been blocked. If such information is obtained, a prosecutor shall request information from an electronic communication company under the Law of Georgia on Electronic Communications, as provided for by paragraph 1 of this article, about the mobile phone number and its owner, and the time and place of identification of the fact of activation of the mobile communication equipment. If an investigator and a prosecutor submit requests under this paragraph in the form of an electronic document, putting a qualified electronic seal on it shall be sufficient for verifying the integrity and origin of the electronic document.

5. The Personal Data Protection Service shall control and supervise the investigative actions provided for by this article in accordance with the Law of Georgia on Personal Data Protection.

Law of Georgia No 3616 of 24 September 2010 – LHG I, No 50, 24.9.2010, Art. 328

Law of Georgia No 2634 of 1 August 2014 – website, 18.8.2014

Decision of the Constitutional Court of Georgia No 1/1/650, 699 of 27 December 2017 – website, 3.2.2017

Law of Georgia No 1314 of 30 December 2021 – website, 13.01.2022

Law of Georgia No 1575 of 24 May 2022 – website, 6.6.2022

Law of Georgia No 3147 of 14 June 2023 – website, 3.7.2023

 

Article 137 – Real-time collection of internet traffic data

1. If there is reasonable cause to believe that a person is carrying out a criminal act through a computer system, the prosecutor may, according to the place of investigation, file a motion with a court for a ruling authorising a real-time collection of internet traffic data; under the ruling the service provider is obliged to collaborate with the investigation authorities and assist them, in real time, in the collection or recording of those internet traffic data that are related to specific communications performed in the territory of Georgia and transmitted through a computer system.

2. A motion specified in paragraph 1 of this article shall take account of the technical capacities of the service provider to collect and record internet traffic data in real time. The period for collecting and recording internet traffic data in real time shall not be longer than the period required to obtain evidence for a criminal case.

3. The provisions of Articles 1432–14310 shall apply to the investigative actions provided for by this article.

Law of Georgia No 3616 of 24 September 2010 – LHG I, No 50, 24.9.2010, Art. 328

Law of Georgia No 2634 of 1 August 2014 – website, 18.8.2014

 

Article 138 – Obtaining of content data

1. If there exists reasonable cause to believe that a person is carrying out a criminal act through a computer system, the prosecutor may, according to the place of investigation, file a motion with a court for a ruling authorising the collection of content data in real time; under the ruling, the service provider is obliged to collaborate with the investigation authorities and assist them, in real time, in the collection or recording of content data related to specific communications performed in the territory of Georgia and transmitted through a computer system.

2. A motion specified in paragraph 1 of this article shall take account of the technical capacities of a service provider to collect and record content data in real time. The period for real-time collection and recording of content data shall not be longer than the period required to obtain evidence for a criminal case.

3. The provisions of Articles 1432–14310 shall apply to the investigative actions provided for by this article.

Law of Georgia No 3616 of 24 September 2010 – LHG I, No 50, 24.9.2010, Art. 328

Law of Georgia No 2634 of 1 August 2014 – website, 18.8.2014

 

Article 1381 – Obtaining of computer data or a document without submission by a foreign state of a motion for rendering legal assistance

1. A prosecutor shall be authorised to accept, directly from a person staying or registered in the territory of a foreign state (state of origin), computer data or a document in possession and/or in control of this person and important to the criminal case if obtaining of computer data or a document using this procedure is permitted by an appropriate international agreement, by the law of the state of origin and/or by clearly defined practice. In exercising this authority, a prosecutor shall not apply the procedures established by Chapter II of the Law of Georgia on International Cooperation in Criminal Matters.

2. A person staying or registered in the territory of a foreign state may not be coerced in order to have the requirement under paragraph 1 of this article complied with, or the liability determined by the legislation of Georgia for non-compliance with this requirement may not be imposed on him/her.

3. In obtaining appropriate computer data or a document in the manner prescribed by this article, a prosecutor shall comply with the requirements under this Code.

4. Computer data or a document shall be obtained in the manner prescribed by this article by a prosecutor duly authorised by the General Prosecutor of Georgia and/or a structural division of a prosecutor’s office.

Law of Georgia No 3157 of 20 July 2018 – website, 6.8.2018

 

Article 139 – (Deleted)

Law of Georgia No 3616 of 24 September 2010 – LHG I, No 50, 24.9.2010, Art. 328

 

Article 140 – (Deleted)

Law of Georgia No 3616 of 24 September 2010 – LHG I, No 50, 24.9.2010, Art. 328

 

Article 141 – (Deleted)

Law of Georgia No 3616 of 24 September 2010 – LHG I, No 50, 24.9.2010, Art. 328

 

Article 142 – (Deleted)

Law of Georgia No 3616 of 24 September 2010 – LHG I, No 50, 24.9.2010, Art. 328

 

Article 143 – (Deleted)

Law of Georgia No 3616 of 24 September 2010 – LHG I, No 50, 24.9.2010, Art. 328

 

Chapter XVI1 Covert Investigative Actions

Law of Georgia No 2634 of 1 August 2014 – website, 18.8.2014

 

Article 1431 – Types of covert investigative actions

1. Types of covert investigative actions shall include:

a) the covert eavesdropping and recording of telephone communication;

b) the retrieval and recording of information from a communications channel (by connecting to the communication facilities, computer networks, line communications and station devices), computer system (both directly and remotely) and installation of respective software in the computer system for this purpose;

c) real-time geolocation identification;

d) the monitoring of a postal and telegraphic transfer (except for a diplomatic mail);

e) video and/or audio recording, photographing;

f) electronic surveillance through technical means the use of which does not cause harm to human life, health and the environment.

2. It shall be permissible to carry out several investigative actions at the same time.

Law of Georgia No 2634 of 1 August 2014 – website, 18.8.2014

Law of Georgia No 476 of 22 March 2017 – website, 27.3.2017

 

Article 1432 – Principles for carrying out covert investigative actions

1. Covert investigative actions may be carried out only when investigating a crime provided for by Article 1433(2)(a) of this Code.

2. Covert investigative actions shall be carried out only if they are provided for by this Code and if they are necessary to achieve a legitimate goal in a democratic society, in particular, to ensure national or public security, to prevent riots or crime, to protect the country’s economic interests and the rights and freedoms of other persons.

3. Covert investigative actions are necessary in a democratic society if they are carried out due to urgent public needs and if they constitute an adequate and proportional means for the achieving a legitimate goal.

4. Covert investigative actions may be carried out only when the evidence essential to the investigation cannot be obtained through other means or it requires unreasonably great effort.

5. The extent (intensity) of a covert investigative action shall be proportionate to the legitimate goal of a covert investigative action.

Law of Georgia No 2634 of 1 August 2014 – website, 18.8.2014

 

Article 1433 – Procedure for carrying out covert investigative actions

1. Covert investigative actions shall be carried out under a court ruling. A judge of a district (city) court shall render a ruling upon a prosecutor’s reasoned motion, except in cases provided for by paragraph 17 of this article.

2. A motion of the prosecutor shall refer to the circumstances that confirm that:

a) an investigation has been initiated and/or criminal prosecution is conducted due to an intentionally serious and/or particularly serious crime or to any of the crimes provided for by the following articles and chapter of the Criminal Code of Georgia: Article 134, Article 139(1), Article 142, Article 142 1 (1) and (2), Article 143(1), Article 1433(1), Article 144 2 , Article 155, Article 180(1), Article 181(1), Article 186(2), Article 187(2), Article 192, Article 198(1), Article 210(1), Article 223(3) and (6), Article 2233(1), Article 226, Article 235, Article 239 1 , Article 252, Article 253(1), Article 254(1) and (2), Article 2594, Article 261(5), Article 262(11), Article 263(1), Article 284(1) and (2), Article 285(1), Article 286(1-3), Article 2861(1), Article 2862(1), Article 287, Article 288(1) and (2), Articles 289, 290 and 292-302, Article 303(1-3), Article 304(1), Articles 305-3061, Article 317, Article 318(1), Article 320(1), Article 321(1), Article 3221, Article 322 2 (1), Article 330 1 (1), Article 331 2 , Chapter XXXIX, Article 343, Article 343 1 , Article 344, Article 344 1 (1), Article 3442(1), Article 345(1) and Article 405;

b) there is a reasonable cause to believe that a person against whom a covert investigative action is to be carried out has committed any of the crimes provided for by sub-paragraph (a) of this paragraph (person directly related to the crime), or a person receives or transmits information that is intended for, or is provided by, a person directly related to the crime, or a person directly related to the crime uses the communication means of the person;

c) covert investigative actions are carried out due to urgent public necessity and are a necessary, adequate and proportional means for achieving legitimate goals in a democratic society, for ensuring national security or public safety, for preventing riots or crime, for protecting the interests of a country’s economic welfare or any other person’s rights and freedoms;

d) as a result of the requested covert investigative action, the information essential to the investigation will be obtained and that information cannot be obtained through other means or obtaining it requires unreasonably great effort.

3. The motion of the prosecutor shall include information on the investigative action (if any) that was carried out in accordance with this Code before the motion was filed and that did not allow for the achievement of the intended purpose.

4. A state body with an appropriate authority:

a) in order to ensure that a covert investigative action provided for by Article 1431(1)(a) of this Code is carried out in the territory under jurisdiction of Georgia, shall use a stationary or semi-stationary technical means of obtaining communication in real time;

b) in order to ensure that a covert investigative action provided for by Article 1431(1)(b) of this Code is carried out in the territory under jurisdiction of Georgia, shall use a stationary, semi-stationary or non-stationary technical means of obtaining communication in real time;

c) in order to ensure that a covert investigative action provided for by Article 1431(1)(c) of this Code is carried out, shall be authorised to use a stationary and/or non-stationary technical means of real-time geolocation identification.

5. A judge shall, not later than 24 hours after a motion of a prosecutor and the attached materials to support the motion are filed with the court, review the motion in the manner prescribed by this Chapter and Article 112 of this Code. A judge may review a motion without an oral hearing. A judge shall hear a motion in an oral hearing in camera, with the participation of the prosecutor, and issue a ruling granting authorisation or refusing to grant authorisation to carry out a covert investigative action. The ruling shall be made in four copies, one of which shall be kept in the court, two copies shall be handed over to the prosecutor that filed the motion or to an authorised representative of an appropriate investigative body, one of which shall be forwarded to a state body with an appropriate authority, and one copy of the ruling containing only requisites and an operative part shall be forwarded by the court to the Personal Data Protection Service. Copies of the judge’s ruling shall be submitted to a state body with an appropriate authority and to the Personal Data Protection Service immediately upon delivery of the ruling, but not later than 48 hours, in tangible (documentary) form.

51. A judge’s ruling granting authorisation to carry out a covert investigative action under Article 1431(1)(a) of this Code, which contains only requisites and an operative part, shall be delivered by the Agency upon its receipt to the Personal Data Protection Service as an electronic copy through an electronic control system. Upon confirmation of the electronic delivery of an electronic copy of the judge’s ruling to the Personal Data Protection Service, the Agency shall commence the covert investigative action under Article 1431(1)(a) of this Code. The procedure for delivering an electronic copy under this paragraph shall be applicable if a stationary technical means is used.

52. If a judge’s ruling granting authorisation to carry out a covert investigative action submitted to a state body with an appropriate authority contains ambiguities or inaccuracies, the state body with an appropriate authority shall immediately notify a prosecutor or an authorised representative of an appropriate investigative body.

53. A court delivering a ruling shall, based on a written application of the prosecutor, within 12 hours after receiving the application, or on its own initiative, ensure that the ambiguities or inaccuracies in the judge’s ruling are removed in the manner prescribed by Article 287 of this Code.

54. If any data or a requisite in the requisites and/or the operative part of a judge’s ruling granting authorisation to carry out a covert investigative action submitted to the Personal Data Protection Service in electronic form and tangible (documentary) form fail to coincide with each other, the head of the Personal Data Protection Service shall notify the Agency thereof through an electronic system, which shall, in its turn, immediately notify a prosecutor or an authorised representative of an appropriate investigative body.

55. If the requisites and/or the operative part of a judge’s ruling granting authorisation to carry out a covert investigative action submitted to the Personal Data Protection Service in electronic form and/or tangible (documentary) form contain ambiguities or inaccuracies, the head of the Personal Data Protection Service shall notify the Agency thereof through an electronic system, which shall, in turn, immediately notify a prosecutor or an authorised representative of an appropriate investigative body.

56. Upon receiving information under paragraphs 54 and 55 of this article, a prosecutor shall file a written application with a court delivering the ruling, which shall, within 12 hours after receiving the application, ensure that the ambiguities or inaccuracies in the judge’s ruling are removed in the manner prescribed by Article 287 of this Code. The court shall, within 24 hours after the ambiguities or inaccuracies in the judge’s ruling are removed, ensure the provision of this ruling to the Personal Data Protection Service.

57. (Deleted – 30.12.2021, No 1314).

58. (Deleted – 30.12.2021, No 1314).

59. (Deleted – 30.12.2021, No 1314).

510. (Deleted – 30.12.2021, No 1314).

6. In the case of urgent necessity, when a delay may cause destruction of the facts important to the case (investigation), or make it impossible to obtain those data, a covert investigative action may be carried out/commenced without a judge’s ruling, under a reasoned resolution of a prosecutor. The resolution of a prosecutor shall contain appropriate requisites (date and place of drawing up the resolution; reference to the article of the Criminal Code of Georgia under which the investigation is in progress; the name and surname of a prosecutor, his/her signature; classification designation; seal), and an operative part of the resolution shall contain the reference to an object/objects of the covert investigative action, as well as to the type of the covert investigative action to be carried out, and shall set a period of time for carrying out the action (specifying its start and end dates and time), which shall not exceed 48 hours. If any of the covert investigative actions under Article 1431(1)(a-c) of this Code is carried out, an operative part of the resolution shall also contain the reference to at least one appropriate detail of a technical identifier/identifiers of an object/objects of the covert investigative action. A prosecutor shall, not later than 24 hours from the time of commencing the covert investigative action specified in the resolution, file a motion with a district (city) court under the jurisdiction of which the covert investigative action was/is carried out, or with a court according to the place of investigation to recognise as lawful the covert investigative action carried out in the case of urgent necessity/in progress. In the motion, a prosecutor shall prove the existence of both circumstances provided for by paragraph 2 of this article and of those that required an urgent carrying out/commencement of the covert investigative action without a court ruling. A judge shall review a prosecutor’s motion, in the manner prescribed by paragraph 5 of this article, within not later than 24 hours after it has been submitted to the court. When reviewing a motion, the judge shall check whether the carried out/ongoing covert investigative action complies with the requirements of paragraph 2 of this article, also whether it was necessary to carry out the above action urgently, and shall issue a ruling on:

a) the recognition of the carried out covert investigative action as lawful;

b) the recognition of the ongoing covert investigative action as lawful and extending a period of its carrying out for not more than 48 hours. This period shall be counted from the time of commencing a covert investigative action specified in the resolution of a prosecutor;

c) the recognition of the carried out/ongoing covert investigative action as unlawful, its termination, annulment of its results and destruction of the material/information obtained as a result of the action.

61. To make a decision provided for by paragraph 6 of this article, a judge may request in writing from the authorised agency an electronic copy of the materials obtained up to the time of the request. After examining the materials, the judge shall ensure that it is destroyed in a prescribed manner.

62. In the case of urgent necessity, a resolution of a prosecutor on carrying out a covert investigative action, which contains only requisites and an operative part, not later than 12 hours from the time of commencing the covert investigative action specified in the resolution, shall be submitted to the Personal Data Protection Service by the prosecutor or an investigator by order of the prosecutor in tangible (documentary) form. A resolution of a prosecutor on carrying out a covert investigative action under Article 1431(1)(a) of this Code, which contains only requisites and an operative part, shall be delivered by the Agency upon receipt to the Personal Data Protection Service as an electronic copy through an electronic control system. Upon confirmation of the electronic delivery of an electronic copy of the resolution of the prosecutor, the Agency shall commence the covert investigative action under Article 1431(1)(a) of this Code. The procedure for delivering an electronic copy under this paragraph shall be applicable when a stationary technical means is used.

63. If a resolution of a prosecutor on carrying out a covert investigative action in the case of necessity submitted to a state body with an appropriate authority contains ambiguities or inaccuracies, the state body with an appropriate authority shall immediately notify thereof a prosecutor or an authorised representative of an appropriate investigative body. The prosecutor shall ensure that the ambiguities or inaccuracies in the resolution are removed.

64. (Deleted – 30.12.2021, No 1314).

7. A judge’s ruling on recognising a covert investigative action as lawful/unlawful shall be made in four copies, one of which shall be kept at the court, two copies shall be forwarded to the prosecutor that filed the motion or to an authorised representative of an appropriate investigative body, one out of the two copies shall be delivered to a state body with an appropriate authority, and one ruling containing only requisites and an operative part shall be delivered by the court to the Personal Data Protection Service. Copies of the judge’s ruling shall be submitted to the state body with an appropriate authority and to the Personal Data Protection Service immediately, upon delivery of the ruling, but not later than 48 hours, in tangible (documentary) form.

8. If the prosecution considers it unnecessary to use the information obtained as a result of a covert investigative action carried out in the case of urgent necessity as evidence, the prosecution shall, not later than 24 hours after the covert investigative action is commenced, file a motion with the district (city) court under the jurisdiction of which the above action was carried out, or with the relevant court according to the place of investigation, and request the finding of that action as lawful. After a court delivers a respective ruling, the information obtained as a result of covert investigative actions shall be immediately destroyed in the manner prescribed by Article 1438(5) of this Code.

9. If a covert investigative action reveals signs of another crime that is not investigated, the information obtained as a result of that covert investigative action shall serve as grounds for initiating an investigation on a different a criminal case, and the issue of admissibility of that information as evidence shall be decided in accordance with the general procedure provided for by this Code, without taking into consideration the circumstances determined for a covert investigative action by paragraph 2 of this article.

10. In a ruling granting authorisation to carry out a covert investigative action or on recognising as lawful a covert investigative action carried out/in progress in the case of urgent necessity without a judge’s ruling, the judge shall provide justification for the existence of circumstances under paragraph 2 of this article, and for the necessity to urgently carry out/commence a covert investigative action without a judge’s ruling. The judge’s ruling shall contain appropriate requisites (number of the ruling; the date and place of preparing the ruling; the name and surname of the judge, his/her signature; classification designation; seal). An operative part of a judge’s ruling shall include:

a) a person that filed the motion with the judge;

b) the number of a criminal case on which a covert investigative action shall be carried out, was carried out or is in progress;

c) a resolution on recognising as lawful the carrying out of a covert investigative action or the carried out/ongoing covert investigative action, which shall precisely include what type of a covert investigative action is authorised or what action is recognised as lawful;

d) the period of time (with indication of the start and end dates and time) when a covert investigative action will be or was carried out;

e) an object/objects of a covert investigative action;

f) if any of the covert investigative actions under Article 1431(1)(a-c) of this Code is carried out – at least one appropriate detail of a technical identifier/identifiers of an object/objects of the covert investigative action that shall be controlled within the scope of the covert investigative action;

g) if necessary, the place of carrying out a covert investigative action;

h) if necessary, who is subject to a covert investigative action;

i) a state body with an appropriate authority that will carry out a covert investigative action;

j) an authorised investigative body that will be familiarised and provided with the material obtained as a result of a covert investigative action;

k) if a covert investigative action is continued – the requisites of a ruling on the basis of which a covert investigative action is under way;

l) other details required for carrying out a covert investigative action.

11. A ruling of a judge refusing to grant authorisation to carry out a covert investigative action, or to recognise as lawful a carried out/ongoing covert investigative action, shall indicate that the motion presented does not prove the existence of circumstances under paragraph 2 of this article and the necessity to urgently carry out a covert investigative action without a judge’s ruling. The judge’s ruling shall include: the requisites provided for by paragraph 10 of this article; a person that filed a motion with the judge; a decision of a judge on refusing to grant authorisation to carry out a covert investigative action, or refusing to recognise as lawful a carried out/ongoing covert investigative action and on destructing the material obtained as a result of the action.

12. A covert investigative action shall be carried out for a period specified in a ruling of a judge. This period shall correspond to the duration that is required to achieve the goal of the investigation.

121. Covert investigative actions may be carried out in three stages, except in the case provided for by paragraph 127 of this article. At the first stage, covert investigative actions shall be carried out for not more than 90 days based on the ruling of a judge rendered upon a prosecutor’s reasoned motion; at the second stage, covert investigative actions shall be carried out for not more than 90 days based on the ruling of a judge rendered upon a superior prosecutor’s reasoned motion; and, at the third stage, covert investigative actions shall be carried out for not more than 90 days based on the ruling of a judge rendered upon a reasoned motion of the General Prosecutor of Georgia or his/her deputy.

122. If the respective goal has not been achieved at the first stage of carrying out covert investigative actions, and if the time limit determined for the first stage of carrying out covert investigative actions has not expired, a prosecutor shall have the right to file a motion with a court requesting the extension of the time limit for carrying out covert investigative actions for the remaining period.

123. If the 90-day time limit determined for the first stage of carrying out covert investigative actions has expired but the respective goal has not been achieved, the time limit for carrying out covert investigative actions may be extended, based on a ruling of a judge rendered upon a superior prosecutor’s reasoned motion, for not more than the period determined for the second stage of carrying out covert investigative actions, which is 90 days.

124. If the respective goal has not been achieved at the second stage of carrying out covert investigative actions, and if the time limit determined for the second stage of carrying out covert investigative actions has not expired, a superior prosecutor shall have the right to file a motion with a court requesting the extension of the time limit for carrying out covert investigative actions for the remaining period.

125. If the 90-day time limit determined for the second stage of carrying out covert investigative actions has expired but the respective goal has not been achieved, the time limit for carrying out covert investigative actions may be extended, based on a ruling of a judge rendered upon a reasoned motion of the General Prosecutor of Georgia or his/her deputy, for not more than the period determined for the third stage of carrying out covert investigative actions, which is 90 days.

126. If the respective goal has not been achieved at the third stage of carrying out covert investigative actions, and if the time limit determined for the third stage of carrying out covert investigative actions has not expired, the General Prosecutor of Georgia or his/her deputy shall have the right to file a motion with a court requesting the extension of the time limit for carrying out covert investigative actions for the remaining period. The time limit for carrying out covert investigative actions shall not be further extended, except in the case provided for by paragraph 127 of this article.

127. If the 90-day time limit determined for the third stage of carrying out covert investigative actions has expired but the respective goal has not been achieved, based on a ruling of a judge rendered upon a reasoned motion of the General Prosecutor of Georgia or his/her deputy:

a) the time limit for carrying out covert investigative actions may be extended again for not more than 90 days if the covert investigative actions are being carried out based on a court ruling rendered in the case provided for by the Law of Georgia on International Cooperation in Criminal Matters. If the respective goal has not been achieved at this stage of carrying out covert investigative actions, and if the time limit determined for this stage of carrying out covert investigative actions has not expired, the General Prosecutor of Georgia or his/her deputy shall have the right to file a motion with a court requesting the extension of the time limit for carrying out covert investigative actions for the remaining period. The time limit for carrying out covert investigative actions shall not be further extended;

b) the time limit for carrying out covert investigative actions may be extended as many times as there are appropriate legal grounds determined by this Chapter, that are necessary for carrying out covert investigative actions, if the investigation is being carried out in relation to crimes provided for by Articles 108, 109, 143-1432, 144-1443, 223-2241, 230−232, 234-2351, 2551, 260(4)-(7), 261(4)-(8), 262 and 263, and Chapters XXXVII−XXXVIII and XLVII, of the Criminal Code of Georgia. In this case, the time limit for carrying out covert investigative actions may be extended for not more than 90 days each time.

128. A motion requesting the extension of the time limit for carrying out covert investigative actions under paragraphs 121−127 of this article shall, in addition to the circumstances provided for by paragraph 2 of this article, include information on the data obtained as a result of the commenced covert investigative actions, and specify the reasons due to which the data sufficient for investigation could not have been obtained. When rendering a ruling under paragraphs 121−127 of this article, a judge shall take into consideration an appropriate legal ground determined by this Chapter, that is necessary for carrying out covert investigative actions.

129. If covert investigative actions have been terminated, after which any legal ground necessary for carrying out covert investigative actions has emerged, the covert investigative actions shall be resumed from the stage at which they have been terminated. The covert investigative actions shall be resumed in accordance with the procedure established by this Chapter.

13. A ruling concerning a covert investigative action shall not be announced publicly. The court ruling shall cease to be in force after 30 days of its delivery unless a covert investigative action is initiated within that period.

14. A person who learns about the carrying out of a covert investigative action against him/her during legal proceedings on a given case may appeal the ruling authorising a covert investigative action only once to the investigation panel of the relevant court of appeal within 48 hours after receipt of the above information and of being informed of the right to appeal the ruling. The annulment of the appealed ruling by the court of appeal and recognition of a carried out covert investigative action as unlawful shall serve as grounds for recognising the information obtained as a result of that action as inadmissible evidence in the manner provided for by this Code. A decision made by a court of appeal on the appeal may be used as a basis for a person to demand, under Article 7(3) of this Code, compensation for damages incurred as a result of the illegal obtaining, keeping or disclosure of information on the person’s private life/personal data.

15. A person who learns about the carrying out of a covert investigative action against him/her after the completion of legal proceedings on a given case, may appeal the ruling authorising a covert investigative action to the investigation panel of the relevant court of appeal within one month after receiving the above information and of being informed of the right to appeal the ruling. The recognition as unlawful by a court of appeal of a carried out covert investigative action may be considered as newly revealed circumstances provided for by Article 310(h) of this Code, which may serve as grounds for the revision of a judgment, provided the evidence obtained as a result of that covert investigative action served as grounds for that judgment. A decision made by a court of appeal on the appeal may be used as a basis for a person to demand, under Article 7(3) of this Code, compensation for damages incurred as a result of the illegal obtaining, keeping or disclosure of information on the person’s private life/personal data.

16. In the appeal provided for by paragraphs 14 and 15 of this article, reference shall be made to the violation of the procedure established by this Chapter for the carrying out of a covert investigative action. An appeal shall be filed with the court that rendered the ruling. The investigation panel of a court of appeal shall review an appeal not later than 72 hours after it has been filed. A court of appeal shall, by notification, ensure the participation of the appellant and the prosecution in the review of the appeal. Their non-appearance shall not preclude the review of the appeal. A decision made on the appeal shall be publicly announced and, if so requested, it shall be handed over to the appellant and the prosecution.

17. A covert investigative action against a state political official, a judge and a person having immunity may be carried out under a ruling of a judge of the Supreme Court of Georgia, or upon a reasoned motion of the General Prosecutor of Georgia or his/her deputy.

Law of Georgia No 2634 of 1 August 2014 – website, 18.8.2014

Law of Georgia No 2870 of 30 November 2014 – website, 30.11.2014

Law of Georgia No 476 of 22 March 2017 – website, 27.3.2017

Law of Georgia No 911 of 1 June 2017 – website, 21.6.2017

Law of Georgia No 2355 of 17 May 2018 – website, 29.5.2018

Law of Georgia No 3276 of 21 July 2018 – website, 9.8.2018

Law of Georgia No 3814 of 30 November 2018 – website, 13.12.2018

Law of Georgia No 4512 of 17 April 2019 – website, 22.4.2019

Law of Georgia No 4604 of 8 May 2019 – website, 8.5.2019

Law of Georgia No 4620 of 29 May 2019 – website, 3.6.2019

Law of Georgia No 6755 of 13 July 2020 – website, 20.7.2020

Law of Georgia No 461 of 27 April 2021 – website, 4.5.2021

Law of Georgia No 1314 of 30 December 2021 – website, 13.01.2022

Law of Georgia No 1722 of 6 September 2022 – website, 14.9.2022

 

Article 1434 – Carrying out, controlling and supervising covert investigative actions

1. Covert investigative actions shall be carried out by an authorised state body in the manner prescribed by this Code.

2. The Personal Data Protection Service shall control and supervise covert investigative actions in accordance with the Law of Georgia on Personal Data Protection.

Law of Georgia No 2634 of 1 August 2014 – website, 18.8.2014

Law of Georgia No 2870 of 30 November 2014 – website, 30.11.2014

Law of Georgia No 476 of 22 March 2017 – website, 27.3.2017

Law of Georgia No 3276 of 21 July 2018 – website, 9.8.2018

Law of Georgia No 4604 of 8 May 2019 – website, 8.5.2019

Law of Georgia No 1314 of 30 December 2021 – website, 13.01.2022

 

Article 1435 – Obligation of a body carrying out covert investigative actions to store and keep record of information

1. A body carrying out covert investigative actions and relevant investigative authorities shall be responsible for appropriately safeguarding the information obtained as a result of covert investigative actions.

2. A body carrying out a covert investigative action shall keep a record of the following data related to covert investigative actions: the type of a covert investigative action; the start and end time of the covert investigative action; an object of a covert investigative action; if a covert investigative action under Article 1431(1)(a-c) of this Code is carried out – a technical identifier of an object of a covert investigative action; the requisites of a judge’s ruling and/or of a reasoned resolution of a prosecutor.

Law of Georgia No 2634 of 1 August 2014 – website, 18.8.2014

Law of Georgia No 2870 of 30 November 2014 – website, 30.11.2014

Law of Georgia No 476 of 22 March 2017 – website, 27.3.2017

 

Article 1436 –Termination and suspension of a covert investigative action

1. A decision to terminate a covert investigative action shall be made by a prosecutor upon application of an investigator, or on his/her own initiative. A prosecutor shall immediately notify a state body with an appropriate authority about the decision to terminate a covert investigative action, which will terminate the covert investigative action immediately after the decision is made.

2. A covert investigative action shall be terminated if:

a) a specific objective provided for by a ruling authorising a covert investigative action has been accomplished;

b) circumstances are discovered that confirm that the specific objective provided for by the ruling on the given covert investigative action cannot be achieved due to objective reasons, or the carrying out of the covert investigative action is no longer essential to the investigation;

c) the investigation and/or criminal prosecution is terminated;

d) there is no more legal ground for carrying out a covert investigative action.

3. If the period for carrying out a covert investigative action expires, or the grounds for suspending a covert investigative action is not removed within three days after it was suspended, a state body with an appropriate authority shall terminate the covert investigative action upon the expiry of the period specified in this paragraph.

4. If the court recognises as unlawful a covert investigative action commenced in the case of urgent necessity, or the 48-hour period specified in a resolution on carrying out a covert investigative action commenced in the case of urgent necessity expires, a state body with an appropriate authority shall, upon receiving the court ruling, terminate the covert investigative action upon the expiry of the 48-hour period for carrying out a covert investigative action commenced immediately or in the case of urgent necessity.

5. A covert investigative action may be suspended by the head of the Personal Data Protection Service through an electronic control system if:

a) an electronic copy of the judge’s ruling granting authorisation to carry out a covert investigative action under Article 1431(1)(a) of this Code, which contains only requisites and an operative part, has not been forwarded to him/her in the manner prescribed by Article 1433(51) of this Code;

b) a copy of the judge’s ruling granting authorisation to carry out a covert investigative action under Article 1431(1)(a) of this Code, which contains only requisites and an operative part, has not been forwarded to him/her in the manner prescribed by Article 1433(5) of this Code, in tangible (documentary) form;

c) an electronic copy of a prosecutor’s resolution, which contains only requisites and an operative part, has not been forwarded to him/her in the manner prescribed by Article 1433(62) of this Code;

d) a copy of a prosecutor’s resolution on carrying out a covert investigative action under Article 1431(1)(a) of this Code in the case of urgent necessity, which contains only requisites and an operative part, has not been forwarded to him/her in the manner prescribed by Article 1433(62) of this Code, in tangible (documentary) form;

e) the requisites and/or the operative part of the prosecutor’s resolution submitted to him/her through an electronic system or in tangible (documentary) form contain ambiguities or inaccuracies;

f) any data under Article 1433(6) of this Code in the requisites and the operative part of an electronic copy of a prosecutor’s resolution submitted to him/her through an electronic system, and in the requisites and the operative part of a prosecutor’s resolution submitted to him/her in tangible (documentary) form fail to coincide with each other.

51. (Deleted – 30.12.2021, No 1314).

52. (Deleted – 30.12.2021, No 1314).

53. (Deleted – 30.12.2021, No 1314).

54. (Deleted – 30.12.2021, No 1314).

55. (Deleted – 30.12.2021, No 1314).

56. (Deleted – 30.12.2021, No 1314).

57. (Deleted – 30.12.2021, No 1314).

58. (Deleted – 30.12.2021, No 1314).

59. (Deleted – 30.12.2021, No 1314).

510. (Deleted – 30.12.2021, No 1314).

6. If an ongoing covert investigative action is suspended on the basis under paragraph 5 of this article, the Agency shall immediately notify thereof a respective prosecutor or an authorised representative of a respective investigative body.

7. If an ongoing covert investigative action is suspended on the basis under paragraph 5(a) or (c) of this article, the removal of the basis for the suspension, in particular, submission to the Personal Data Protection Service of an electronic copy of a judge’s ruling, which contains only requisites and an operative part, or of an electronic copy of a prosecutor’s resolution, which contains only requisites and an operative part, shall be ensured by the Agency.

8. If an ongoing covert investigative action is suspended on the basis under paragraph 5(b) of this article, the removal of the basis for the suspension, in particular, submission to the Personal Data Protection Service of a copy of the judge’s ruling in tangible (documentary) form, which contains only requisites and an operative part, shall be ensured by the court.

9. If an ongoing covert investigative action is suspended on the basis under paragraph 5(d) of this article, the removal of the basis for the suspension, in particular, submission to the Personal Data Protection Service of a copy of a prosecutor’s resolution in tangible (documentary) form, which contains only requisites and an operative part, shall be ensured by a prosecutor or an authorised representative of a respective investigative body.

10. If an ongoing covert investigative action is suspended on the basis under paragraph 5(e) or (f) of this article, the removal of the basis for the suspension, in particular, indication of the data under Article 1433(6) of this Code in an appropriate manner, and submission of the resolution to the Agency and the Personal Data Protection Service shall be ensured by a prosecutor or an authorised representative of a respective investigative body.

11. If an ongoing covert investigative action is suspended on the basis under paragraph 5(a) or (c) of this article, the covert investigative action shall be continued by the Agency upon electronic confirmation in accordance with the general procedure established by this Code of the delivery of an electronic copy of the judge’s ruling or the prosecutor’s resolution to the Personal Data Protection Service.

12. If an ongoing covert investigative action is suspended on the basis under paragraph 5(b) of this article, the covert investigative action shall be continued by the Agency upon electronic confirmation by the Personal Data Protection Service of receiving the court ruling through an electronic control system.

13. If an ongoing covert investigative action is suspended on the basis under paragraph 5(d), (e) or (f) of this article, the covert investigative action shall be continued by the Agency upon electronic confirmation by the Personal Data Protection Service of receiving the prosecutor’s resolution through an electronic control system.

14. A state body with an appropriate authority shall draw up a protocol upon completion of a covert investigative action. The protocol shall exactly specify the legal grounds for carrying out the covert investigative action, its start and end time, the place where the protocol was drawn up, the type of the covert investigative action carried out and the technical means used for carrying it out, a place of carrying out a covert investigative action, an object of a covert investigative action, and if any of the covert investigative actions under Article 1431(1)(a-c) of this Code is carried out – also a technical identifier of an object of a covert investigative action. This protocol shall be forwarded to an appropriate authorised investigative body which shall immediately submit it to the prosecutor, the court registry of covert investigative actions and to the Personal Data Protection Service. The protocol shall also be forwarded to the defence in cases provided for and in the manner prescribed by this Chapter.

15. When a covert investigative action is carried out, if requested by a prosecutor/judge, a body carrying out the covert investigative action shall issue an interim protocol.

16. If the basis for suspending a covert investigative action is not removed within three days after it was suspended, the material obtained as a result of the covert investigative action shall be destroyed in the manner prescribed by this Code.

Law of Georgia No 2634 of 1 August 2014 – website, 18.8.2014

Law of Georgia No 476 of 22 March 2017 – website, 27.3.2017

Law of Georgia No 3276 of 21 July 2018 – website, 9.8.2018

Law of Georgia No 4604 of 8 May 2019 – website, 8.5.2019

Law of Georgia No 1314 of 30 December 2021 – website, 13.01.2022

 

Article 1437 – Reducing the number of covert investigative actions to a minimum

1. The body carrying out covert investigative actions, also investigative authorities or persons, shall be obliged, within their powers, to limit, as much as possible, the monitoring of communications and persons that are not related to the investigation.

2. Covert investigative actions against a clergy person, a defence lawyer, a physician, a journalist and a person enjoying immunity may be carried out only where this is not related to obtaining information protected by law in the course of their religious or professional activities, respectively.

3. Information on a personal communication of a defence lawyer obtained as a result of covert investigative actions shall be separated from the information on the communication conducted between the defence lawyer and his/her client. The contents of the communication between the defence lawyer and his/her client related to the defence lawyer’s professional activities shall be immediately destroyed.

Law of Georgia No 2634 of 1 August 2014 – website, 18.8.2014

Law of Georgia No 2870 of 30 November 2014 – website, 30.11.2014

 

Article 1438 – Destruction of information/materials obtained as a result of covert investigative actions

1. Information obtained as a result of covert investigative actions shall, by decision of the prosecutor, be immediately destroyed after the termination or completion of such actions, unless the information is of any value to the investigation. Also, the information obtained as a result of the covert investigative action that has been carried out without a ruling of a judge in the case of urgent necessity and that, even though recognised by a court as lawful, has not been submitted as evidence by the prosecution in the manner prescribed by Article 83 to the court that hears the case on the merits. The materials shall be immediately destroyed if they are obtained as a result of operative-investigative actions and do not concern a person’s criminal activities but include details of that person’s or any other person’s private life and are subject to destruction under Article 6(4) of the Law of Georgia on Operative-Investigative Activities.

2. Materials obtained as a result of covert investigative actions, which are recognised by a court as inadmissible evidence, shall be immediately destroyed six months after the court of final instance renders a ruling on the case. Until destruction, these materials shall be kept in a special depository of a court. No one may access these materials, or make copies of them or use them, except for the parties who use them for the purpose of exercising their procedural powers.

3. The materials obtained as a result of covert investigative actions that are attached to a case as material evidence shall, under Article 79(2) of this Code, be kept in the court for the period of keeping this criminal case. After the expiration of this period, the above materials shall be immediately destroyed.

4. In cases provided for by paragraphs 2 and 3 of this article, an administration of the court that kept the materials before its destruction shall be responsible for adequate keeping of the materials obtained as a result of covert investigative actions.

5. In cases provided for by paragraph 1 of this article, the information obtained as a result of covert investigative actions shall be destroyed by a prosecutor providing procedural supervision over the investigation of the given case, or supporting the state prosecution or by their superior prosecutor, in the presence of a judge/a judge of the court who/whose judge made a decision on the carrying out of this covert investigative action, or recognised as lawful/unlawful the covert investigative action carried out without a court ruling in the case of urgent necessity. A record of the destruction of materials obtained as a result of covert investigative actions, signed by the relevant prosecutors and judges, shall be forwarded to the Personal Data Protection Service, and shall be entered into the court registry of covert investigative actions.

6. In cases provided for by paragraphs 2 and 3 of this article, the materials obtained as a result of covert investigative actions shall be destroyed by the judge or by a judge of that court who, or the judge of which, made a decision on the carrying out of the covert investigative action or recognised as lawful or unlawful the covert investigative action that was carried out without a court ruling in the case of urgent necessity.

Law of Georgia No 2634 of 1 August 2014 – website, 18.8.2014

Law of Georgia No 476 of 22 March 2017 – website, 27.3.2017

Law of Georgia No 3276 of 21 July 2018 – website, 9.8.2018

Law of Georgia No 4604 of 8 May 2019 – website, 8.5.2019

Law of Georgia No 1314 of 30 December 2021 – website, 13.01.2022

 

Article 1439 – Notification about covert investigative actions

1. Only investigators, prosecutors and judges may, before the completion of covert investigative actions, examine the information obtained as a result of those actions (provided that such information is substantially related to the issue that they are to review).

2. The information obtained as a result of covert investigative actions shall be provided to the party according to Article 83(6), also in the case of approval of a plea bargain.

3. A person against whom a covert investigative action has been carried out, shall be notified in writing of the carrying out of that action as well as of the contents of the materials obtained as a result of that action and of the destruction of the above material. Along with that information, such person shall also be presented with a court ruling on the carrying out of covert investigative actions against him/her, as well as the materials based on which the judge rendered such a decision, and shall be informed of the right to appeal the above ruling in the manner prescribed by Article 1433(15) of this Code. A decision as to the time when a person is to be notified of the carrying out of covert investigative actions against him/her and be handed over the relevant ruling and materials, shall be made by the prosecutor, both during and after the legal proceedings, taking into account the interest of the legal proceedings.

4. If a prosecutor decides not to notify a person of the carrying out of covert investigative actions against him/her within 12 months after ending/terminating the covert investigative actions, the prosecutor shall be obliged, within not later than 72 hours before the expiration of the above term, to file a motion with the court whose judge rendered the ruling on the carrying out of the covert investigative actions, and request the postponement, for no longer than 12 months, of the provision of information to the relevant person on the carrying out of the covert investigative actions. The motion shall provide reasons why the notification of the person could pose a risk to the achievement of the legitimate goal of the investigative actions, to the accomplishment of the objectives and to the interests of legal proceedings. A judge shall review the motion in the manner prescribed by Article 112 of this Code within 48 hours after it has been filed, at his/her own discretion, with or without an oral hearing. When reviewing a motion with an oral hearing, the judge shall ensure the participation of the relevant prosecutor in the review with a relevant notification. His/her non-appearance shall not impede the review of the motion. After the review, the judge shall make a decision to grant the prosecutor’s motion and to postpone the notification of the relevant person or to reject the motion and refuse to postpone the provision of such information to the relevant person.

5. If, after the granting of a motion determined by paragraph 4 of this article and the expiration of the respective time limit, the risk determined by the same paragraph still exists, a prosecutor shall have the right to request twice the postponement of the provision of information to a relevant person on the carrying out of the covert investigative actions, in accordance with the procedure established by the same paragraph. A prosecutor shall have the right to request the postponement of the provision of such information for not more than 12 months each time.

6. If covert investigative actions have been carried out in relation to crimes provided for by Articles 108, 109, 143-1432, 144-1443, 223-2241, 230−232, 234-2351, 2551, 260(4)-(7), 261(4)-(8), 262 and 263, and Chapters XXXVII−XXXVIII and XLVII, of the Criminal Code of Georgia, the notification of the carrying out of covert investigative actions to a person, against whom the covert investigative actions have been carried out, may be postponed as many times as necessary to prevent risks to national security, public order, and the interests of legal proceedings. In this case, the notification of the carrying out of covert investigative actions to a relevant person under paragraph 4 of this article may be postponed for not more than 12 months each time.

7. If, in the case determined by paragraph 6 of this article, a prosecutor delivers a final decision in a criminal case, a person, against whom the covert investigative actions have been carried out, shall be notified of the carrying out of the covert investigative actions immediately after the final decision.

Law of Georgia No 2634 of 1 August 2014 – website, 18.8.2014

Law of Georgia No 1722 of 6 September 2022 – website, 14.9.2022

 

Article 14310 – Registry of covert investigative actions

1. The Supreme Court of Georgia shall prepare a registry of covert investigative actions, which shall include statistical information on covert investigative actions, in particular: information on motions filed with the courts for the carrying out of covert investigative actions, and on ruling rendered by courts on those motions, as well as information on the destruction of materials obtained as a result of operative-investigative actions that did not concern criminal activities of the given person but which include details on that or another person’s private life and that has been destroyed in accordance with Article 6(4) of the Law of Georgia on Operative-Investigative Activities.

2. The Supreme Court of Georgia shall, at the end of every year, publish information provided for by paragraph 1 of this article.

Law of Georgia No 2634 of 1 August 2014 – website, 18.8.2014

 

Chapter XVII – Other Procedural Actions

 

Article 144 – Grounds for ordering an expert examination

1. An expert examination shall be ordered if factual circumstances that are essential to the case cannot be established without the involvement of experts in the relevant fields of science, technology or arts, and if a human body or any other object containing information carries a trace, a sign or a specific feature essential to the case that can be properly understood and perceived only with specialised knowledge.

2. An expert examination shall be conducted at the initiative of a party.

3. If the object of expert examination is in the possession of the other party, the latter shall be obliged to hand it over to the expert of the party that initiated the expert examination. The party that initiates an expert examination may conduct the expert examination. If an object of expert examination is not voluntarily handed over, the party may file a motion with the court according to the place of investigation requesting the handing over of the object of examination. The motion shall be reviewed within 48 hours. The parties shall be notified of the time and place of the review of the motion. If the movant fails to appear, the motion shall not be reviewed. The court may review the motion without an oral hearing. The court ruling may not be appealed.

31. In cases provided for by paragraph 3 of this article, if the expert of the party that initiates an expert examination cannot or does not ensure the protection of the object of an expert examination, the expert opinion shall be considered as inadmissible evidence and the expert may not be examined as a witness.

32. After an item, a document, a thing, substance, or any other objects containing information, which has been obtained at the request of the defence, has been provided to an expert as part of an initial investigation, the expert shall establish whether or not it is possible to conduct multiple expert examinations of an object of an expert examination.

33. If, in cases provided for by paragraph 32 of this article, an expert establishes that the object of an expert examination can be suitable for a single expert examination only (it is exhaustible, or subject to destruction), or if this cannot be established, the expert shall immediately notify the prosecution, and the prosecution, in turn, shall immediately notify the defence to this effect.

34. In cases provided for by paragraph 33 of this article, the defence shall have the right to submit questions to the prosecution in writing within 3 days from the receipt of a respective notification. The prosecution shall immediately forward these questions to the expert.

35. An expert opinion drawn up as part of an initial investigation shall be provided to the defence in the manner prescribed by Article 146(4) of this Code.

4. A decree of an investigator, prosecutor, and an application of the defence party on the conduct of an expert examination shall be binding for an expert institution, and for the person who is the object of an expert examination.

5. A decree on the conduct of an expert examination and an application of the defence shall include grounds for ordering an expert examination, questions put to the expert, name of the expert institution or the surname of the person tasked with conducting the expert examination.

6. The defence may, within the scope and in the manner prescribed by Article 46 of this Code, request reimbursement from the State of the costs of an expert examination conducted at the initiative of the defence.

7. By ordinance of an investigator or a prosecutor, an expert examination may be conducted in the territory of a foreign state without sending a motion for rendering legal assistance in the case when the performance of a similar procedural action without submitting a motion for rendering legal assistance is permitted by the law of a respective foreign state.

Law of Georgia No 4631 of 5 May 2011 – website, 19.5.2011

Law of Georgia No 741 of 14 June 2013 – website, 27.6.2013

Law of Georgia No 3157 of 20 July 2018 – website, 6.8.2018

Law of Georgia No 5186 of 17 October 2019 – website, 23.10.2019

 

Article 145 – Object of an expert examination

1. An object of an expert examination, if its dimensions and characteristics so permit, shall be handed over to an expert in a packaged and sealed form.

2. An object of an expert examination may be consumed to the extent necessary for the expert examination.

3. Upon completion of an expert examination, the unused portion of the object of expert examination shall be returned, in a packaged and sealed form, to the person or body ordering the expert examination. If an expert examination is conducted under Article 144(3) of this Code, the object of the expert examination shall be returned to the party that possessed the object before the expert examination was ordered.

 

Article 146 – Expert opinion

1. After conducting the required examination, an expert shall give an opinion. The expert shall confirm a written opinion by signature.

2. An expert opinion shall contain: the identity of the expert (name, education, specialty, length of service in the given specialty, academic degrees and titles, place of employment and position); the fact that he/she has been warned about criminal liability for giving an intentionally false opinion; the grounds for expert examination; persons attending the expert examination; materials used; an item, a document, a sample or any other object examined; the type of examination conducted and methods used; substantiated answers to the questions posed; circumstances established at the expert’s initiative that are essential to the case.

3. The items, samples, photos and schemes remaining after an expert examination and other materials supporting the expert opinion shall be attached to the expert opinion.

4. Upon receiving an expert opinion, the party initiating the expert examination shall, upon request, immediately hand them over to the other party.

 

Article 147 – Taking samples

1. Samples shall be taken by a relevant party. A party may take a sample from a human body, corpse, animal, substance, item or any other object containing information.

2. If taking a sample requires surgical or medical means, the sample shall be taken by an expert.

3. Taking a sample that does not cause severe pain shall be allowed with the consent of the person from whom the sample is to be taken. If taking a sample does not cause severe pain and the person refuses to voluntarily provide a sample, or the person is not able to express his/her will regarding the taking of a sample from him/her, a sample shall be taken under a court ruling based on a motion of a party. If there is an urgent necessity provided for by Article 112(5) of this Code, a sample may be taken without a court ruling, based on the investigator’s decree.

4. In the event of urgent necessity, within 12 hours after the commencement of the taking of a sample (and if the expiration of that period falls during non-working hours, not later than one hour after that period expires), the prosecutor shall notify the court of the taking of a sample according to the place of investigation, or to a court under the jurisdiction of which the procedural action has been carried out, file with the court a motion requesting the examination of the lawfulness of taking a sample, and submit the materials of the criminal case (or their copies) that justify the urgency of carrying out the procedural action. Not later than 24 hours after receiving the materials, the court shall decide the motion without an oral hearing. A court may review a motion with the participation of the prosecutor and the person against whom the given investigative action has been carried out.

5. Taking a sample that causes severe pain shall be allowed only in exceptional cases and with the consent of the person from whom the sample is to be taken, also with the consent of his/her parent, guardian or custodian if that person has not attained the age of 16, or is mentally ill, or under a court ruling.

Law of Georgia No 3090 of 19 February 2015– website, 6.3.2015

 

Article 148 – Grounds for taking a sample

A court ruling on taking a sample shall be issued in the manner provided for by Article 144(3) of this Code.

 

Article 149 – Duty to appear; compelled appearance

1. A party may file a motion requesting summoning of its witness to a court session.

2. A person summoned by a court in cases provided for by law shall be obliged to appear at exactly the designated time and place. If the person fails to appear, he/she may be compelled to appear.

3. The purpose of compelled appearance is to ensure the participation of a witness in an investigative or any other procedural action or in a court session if a witness refuses to appear voluntarily.

4. The party initiating an expert examination shall be obliged to ensure the compelled appearance of the accused, a victim or a witness before an expert if it is necessary to examine their bodies or their mental condition, or if the presence of these persons during an expert examination is considered necessary. A person shall be compelled to appear based on a motion of a party, under a court ruling, which is issued in the manner provided for by Article 144(3) of this Code. The accused may be compelled to appear at the stage of investigation only under a court ruling.

5. A decision compelling an appearance shall include: the name of the person who is to be compelled to appear, his/her procedural status, place of residence or employment, grounds for his/her compelled appearance, time and place of appearance, and the person responsible for conducting the compelled appearance.

 

Article 150 – Enforcement of a decision on compelled appearance

1. A decision compelling an appearance shall be submitted for enforcement to the relevant law enforcement body.

2. When a person subject to compelled appearance is located, the authorised official shall, under a signed acknowledgement of receipt, present to him/her the decision compelling appearance, and take that person to the body (person) indicated in the decision. In addition, a note shall be made on the decision regarding the time and place of locating the person, the time of his/her compelled appearance and his/her statements and appeals related to that appearance.

3. A decision compelling appearance shall be enforced within a reasonable period.

4. If the authorised official establishes that a person cannot be compelled to appear, the official shall indicate in writing the relevant reasons in the decision compelling appearance, and return the decision, non-enforced, to the person initiating the compelled appearance.

 

Article 151 – Purpose and grounds for seizing property

1. To ensure the possible forfeiture of property, as a coercive measure in criminal procedure, the court may, upon motion of a party, seize the property, including bank accounts, of the accused, of the person materially responsible for the accused person’s actions, and/or of the person related to the accused person, if there is information to suggest that the property will be concealed or destroyed, and/or the property has been obtained in a criminal way. If there is information to suggest that the property has been obtained in a criminal way, but the property cannot be found, the court may seize property, the value of which is equivalent to the value of the property in question. If the accused is an official, under the conditions referred to in this paragraph, the prosecutor shall be obliged to file a motion with the court requesting the seizure of property (including bank accounts) of that official, also the suspension of the fulfilment of obligations assumed under agreements entered into by that official on behalf of the State, or the taking of other interim measures.

2. The property seizure provided for by this Code shall also be applied in the case of preparation of one of the crimes provided for by Articles 323-330 and 3311 of the Criminal Code of Georgia or of any other particularly serious crime, as well as for their prevention, if there is sufficient information to believe that the property in question could be used for the commission of a crime.

3. A court may also seize property if there is sufficient evidence to believe that the property in question is obtained through corruption, racketeering or is owned by a member of ‘a criminal underworld’/‘a thief in law’, or by a person convicted for committing a crime under Article 194(3)(c) of the Criminal Code of Georgia.

31. Property may also be seized by a ruling on the seizure of property issued by a court on the basis of the motion of the prosecution if there is a reasonable cause to believe that a crime has been committed with respect to the property in question, and/or if there is a reasonable cause to believe that this property has been obtained in a criminal way and seizing the property is necessary to achieve one or more of the following purposes:

a) to prevent the commission of a new crime;

b) to protect the property from destruction or damage;

c) to prevent the concealment, alienation or embezzlement of the property;

d) to ensure the possible deprivation of property on the basis of Article 52 of the Criminal Code of Georgia.

4. When deciding issues concerning the seizure of property, the provisions of the Civil Procedure Code of Georgia may apply, unless they contradict this Code.

Law of Georgia No 3616 of 24 September 2010 – LHG I, No 50, 24.9.2010, Art. 328

Law of Georgia No 2153 of 18 April 2018 – website, 1.5.2018

Decision of the Constitutional Court of Georgia No 2/1/1434, 1466 of 25 February 2022 – website, 1.3.2022

Law of Georgia No 1854 of 23 September 2022 – website, 28.9.2022

 

Article 152 – Restriction of powers when seizing property

1. In cases provided for by Article 151(1), (2) or (3) or paragraph (31)(a) or (c) of the same article, the seizure of property shall prohibit its owner or holder from administering that property, and when necessary, from using the property as well.

11. In cases provided for by Article 151(31)(b), the seizure of property shall prohibit its owner or holder from only using that property, and in cases provided for by sub-paragraph (d) of the same paragraph, from only administering the property.

2. A liquidator or a special manager of a commercial bank, or a liquidator of a payment service provider or a micro-bank, may transfer the seized accounts to another commercial bank, another payment service provider, another micro-bank and/or the National Bank of Georgia in accordance with the Law of Georgia on Commercial Bank Activities, the Law of Georgia on Payment Systems and Payment Services and the Law of Georgia on the Activities of Micro-banks.

[ 3. In the cases provided for by the Law of Georgia on the Holding of Dematerialised Securities, the Law of Georgia on Securities Market, the Law of Georgia on Investment Funds, the Law of Georgia on Commercial Bank Activities, and the Law of Georgia on the Activities of Micro-banks, a liquidator or a special manager shall be authorised to transfer the seized securities accounts unchanged to another intermediary or to a financial institution having appropriate authority. (Shall become effective from 1 March 2024) ]

Law of Georgia No 1902 of 23 December 2017 – website, 11.1.2018

Law of Georgia No 5660 of 20 December 2019 – website, 31.12.2019

Law of Georgia No 1805 of 9 September 2022 – website, 23.9.2022

Law of Georgia No 1854 of 23 September 2022 – website, 28.9.2022

Law of Georgia No 2619 of 22 February 2023 – website, 10.3.2023

Law of Georgia No 3725 of 16 November 2023 – website, 7.12.2023

 

Article 153 – Property that shall not be seized

1. Seizure shall not be applied to food products, fuel, or inventory necessary for professional activities of a person, or to other items that ensure normal living conditions of a person, nor to financial collateral arrangements (financial collaterals) provided for by the Law of Georgia on Financial Collaterals, Mutual Setoffs and Derivatives, to assets in a collateral pool as defined in Article 2(1)(b) of the Law of Georgia on Bonds Secured by Mortgages, and to settlement accounts of system participants provided for by the Law of Georgia on Payment Systems and Payment Services.

2. On the basis of the application of the National Bank of Georgia, the property of a commercial bank that is in the resolution regime in accordance with the Organic Law of Georgia on the National Bank of Georgia and the Law of Georgia on Commercial Bank Activities and the bank accounts held in that commercial bank shall not be seized, and the effect of seizure applied to seized property and bank accounts shall be suspended for a period specified in the application of the National Bank of Georgia, which shall not exceed 90 calendar days. The judge shall issue a ruling within 24 hours from the application of the National Bank of Georgia. If the resolution regime ends earlier than the period specified in the ruling, the National Bank of Georgia shall notify to this effect the court, which shall overturn the ruling on suspension.

[3. The pension assets provided for by Article 2 1 (4 2 ) of the Law of Georgia on Enforcement Proceedings may not be seized if the application of a measure of security has been requested on the basis of a disputed claim against an entity defined by a relevant law as specified in the same paragraph. (Shall become effective from 1 January 2025)]

Law of Georgia No 6314 of 25 May 2012 – website, 12.6.2012

Law of Georgia No 5660 of 20 December 2019 – website, 31.12.2019

Law of Georgia No 5684 of 20 December 2019 – website, 31.12.2019

Law of Georgia No 2118 of 29 November 2022 – website, 16.12.2022

Law of Georgia No 3351 of 28 June 2023 – website, 19.7.2023

 

Article 154 – Motion to seize property and procedures for its review

1. A party shall prepare and submit, according to the place of investigation, to the court a motion to seize property, and information required for its review.

11. In cases provided for by Article 158(2) or (3) of this Code, before the expiry of the 12-month period set at the previous stage of the seizure of property, if an appropriate ground for the seizure of property still exists, the prosecution may file a motion with a court to seize the property for the 12-month period set at the next stage.

12. In cases provided for by Article 158(2) or (3) of this Code, if the ruling on the seizure of property has been annulled but the time limit provided for by the same paragraph has not expired, and the ground under Article 151(31) of the same Code exists, the prosecution may file a motion with a court to seize the property for the period set at the remaining stages.

13. After the seizure of the property on the ground provided for by Article 151(31) of this Code, if the existence of the ground provided for by Article 151(1), 2 or 3 of this Code is confirmed, the prosecution may file a motion with a court to seize the property on the amended ground.

14. The prosecution may, at any stage of the criminal proceedings, file a motion with a court to fully or partially annul the ruling on the seizure of property.

2. Not later than 48 hours after receiving the motion and the information required for its review, a judge shall decide the motion without an oral hearing. The judge may review a motion with the participation of the party that filed the motion. In this case, the procedure provided for by Article 144(3) of this Code shall apply during the review of the motion.

Law of Georgia No 1854 of 23 September 2022 – website, 28.9.2022

 

Article 155 – Decree on seizing property in the case of urgent necessity

1. In the case of urgent necessity (except in cases provided for by Article 153(2) of this Code), if there is probable cause to believe that property will be concealed or destroyed, the prosecutor may issue a reasoned decree to seize the property.

2. In the case of urgent necessity, within 12 hours after the enforcement of a decree for the seizure of property (if the expiration of that period falls during non-working hours, within not later than an hour after that period expires), the prosecutor shall inform the court of the seizure of property according to the place of investigation, or the court under the jurisdiction of which the procedural action has been carried out, and shall file a motion requesting the examination of the lawfulness of the seizure, and submit to the court the criminal case materials (or their copies) that prove the necessity of carrying out the investigative action. Not later than 24 hours after receiving the materials, the court shall decide the motion without an oral hearing. The court may review the motion with the participation of the prosecutor and of the person against whom the investigative action has been carried out.

Law of Georgia No 5660 of 20 December 2019 – website, 31.12.2019

 

Article 156 – Appealing a court ruling seizing property

A court ruling seizing property shall, within 48 hours after the ruling is issued, be handed over to the person authorised to appeal. This ruling shall be appealed under Article 207 of this Code. The ruling may be appealed by the prosecutor, the accused and/or a person whose material rights have been violated as a result of that ruling, as well as by their defence lawyers. The running of the time limit for appealing a ruling shall commence from the time it has been handed over to the authorised person.

Law of Georgia No 741 of 14 June 2013 – website, 27.6.2013

 

Article 157 – Procedure for enforcing a ruling (decree) on seizing property

1. A party shall submit a court ruling, and in the case of urgent necessity, a decree of a prosecutor on the seizure of property, to the person who keeps the property, and request the delivery of the property. If that request is denied or there is reliable information that the entire property has not been delivered, a search shall be conducted in accordance with this Code.

2. When seizing property, it shall be determined what items and valuables are to be seized within the limits of the amount indicated in the ruling (decree).

3. An expert may be invited to participate in the seizure of property, and he/she shall assess the value of the property.

4. The extent of the damage caused as a result of a crime and the value of the property subject to seizure shall be determined according to the average market prices.

5. If a bank account is seized, the person’s right to administer the funds available on or transferred to his/her bank account shall be restricted. If only a certain amount is seized, the person’s right to administer the funds available on or transferred to his/her account shall be restricted within the limits of the seizure. If property has been acquired or increased with the resources obtained in a criminal way, the entire property or its major part may be seized. Seizure shall apply to the property (including that of a legal person and its subsidiary companies) of the accused, his/her family member, close relative, related person and/or of a racketeering group, regardless of the share of the accused in that property, provided that there is sufficient evidence to believe that the property or its part has been obtained as a result of racketeering.

6. A report shall be drawn up on the seizure of property.

7. The seized property, except for immovable and large things, shall be taken.

Law of Georgia No 6314 of 25 May 2012 – website, 12.6.2012

 

Article 158 – Period of validity of a court ruling on the seizure of property

1. Property shall be seized until a judgment is enforced, until a criminal prosecution and/or an investigation is terminated, except in cases provided for by Article 151(31) of this Code.

2. In cases provided for by Article 151(31) of this Code, property shall be seized in 2 stages, and the period of the seizure of the property at each stage shall be 12 months.

3. In cases provided for by Article 151(31) of this Code, if appropriate procedures for the provision of legal assistance under the Law of Georgia on International Cooperation in Criminal Matters have been initiated, the property shall be seized in 4 stages, and the period of the seizure of the property at each stage shall be 12 months.

Decision of the Constitutional Court of Georgia No 2/1/1434, 1466 of 25 February 2022 – website, 1.3.2022

Law of Georgia No 1854 of 23 September 2022 – website, 28.9.2022

 

Article 159 – Grounds for removing the accused from his/her position (work)

An accused person may be removed from his/her position (work) if there is a probable cause that, by staying at that position (work), he/she will interfere with an investigation, with the reimbursement of damages caused as a result of the crime, or will continue criminal activities.

(The normative content of Article 159 providing for the removal from a position (work) of persons elected to a local self-government on the basis of universal, equal and direct suffrage by secret ballot has been declared invalid)

Decision of the Constitutional Court of Georgia No 3/1/574 of 23 May 2014 – website, 29.5.2014.

 

Article 160 – A court ruling removing the accused from his/her position (work)

1. After making a decision to remove the accused from his/her position (work), the prosecutor shall, in writing, file a motion with a court according to the place of investigation. The court shall deliver a ruling on the application of this measure if there are sufficient grounds. The court may review the motion without an oral hearing.

2. A court ruling removing the accused from his/her position (work) shall indicate the identity of the person subject to removal, his/her position (work), grounds for removal, and a request for removal of the accused, which shall be submitted to the head of the relevant institution, enterprise or organisation.

3. A court ruling removing the accused from his/her position (work) shall be binding on the head of the relevant institution, enterprise or organisation. The head shall be obliged to immediately enforce a court ruling as soon as it is received, and inform the court accordingly.

Law of Georgia No 3616 of 24 September 2010 – LHG I, No 50, 24.9.2010, Art. 328

Decision of the Constitutional Court of Georgia No 3/1/574 of 23 May 2014 – website, 29.5.2014

 

Article 161 – Period of removal of the accused from his/her position (work)

1. A judge may, before delivering a final decision in a case, rule on the removal of the accused from his/her position (work).

2. A court ruling on the removal of the accused from his/her position (work) may be appealed under the procedure provided for by Article 207 of this Code.

 

Article 162 – Removal of certain persons from office (suspension from duty)

1. The issue of removal from office (suspension from duty) of Members of the Parliament of Georgia, of the deputies of the supreme representative bodies of the Autonomous Republics of Abkhazia and Ajara, of the Public Defender of Georgia, and of the General Auditor shall be resolved in accordance with the legislation of Georgia.

2. The General Prosecutor of Georgia shall have the right to request the removal from office (suspension from duty) of persons referred to in paragraph 1 of this article.

Law of Georgia No 6550 of 22 June 2012 – website, 29.6.2012

Law of Georgia No 3814 of 30 November 2018 – website, 13.12.2018

 

Article 163 – Grounds for suspending an accused (convicted) person’s passport of a citizen of Georgia or neutral travel document

The validity of a passport of a citizen of Georgia, or of a neutral travel document may be suspended if a person holding it is accused (convicted) under this Code, and there is a probable cause that this person may use the passport/travel document to leave Georgia or change locations abroad.

Law of Georgia No 4995 of 1 July 2011 – website, 15.7.2011

 

Article 164 – Decision to suspend an accused (convicted) person’s passport of a citizen of Georgia or neutral travel document

1. After making a decision to suspend a wanted accused (a convicted) person’s passport of a citizen of Georgia or neutral travel document, the prosecutor shall, according to the place of investigation, file a written motion with a court, which, in the case of sufficient grounds, shall deliver a ruling on the application of that measure. A court may review an appeal without an oral hearing. A court ruling may be appealed under Article 207 of this Code.

2. A court ruling suspending a passport of a citizen of Georgia or a neutral travel document shall indicate: the date and place of preparing the ruling; the official or the body responsible for executing the ruling; the name, surname, birth date and personal number of the holder of the passport/travel document; the number, issuing authority and issuance date of the passport/travel document.

3. Suspension of a passport of a citizen of Georgia or of a neutral travel document shall mean the restriction of the right of the accused (convicted) person to leave Georgia or change locations abroad. A suspended passport of a citizen of Georgia or a suspended neutral travel document may not be used (accepted) as a document that is sufficient (required) for leaving Georgia or for changing locations abroad.

Law of Georgia No 3616 of 24 September 2010 – LHG I, No 50, 24.9.2010, Art. 328

Law of Georgia No 4995 of 1 July 2011 – website, 15.7.2011

 

Article 165 – Term of suspension of a wanted accused (convicted) person’s passport of a citizen of Georgia or neutral travel document

1. The validity of a wanted accused (convicted) person’s passport of a citizen of Georgia or neutral travel document shall be suspended until the enforcement of the judgment, until the completion of the criminal prosecution.

2. The prosecutor may, at any time before the date provided for by paragraph 1 of this article, issue a decree revoking the suspension of a passport of a citizen of Georgia or of a neutral travel document.

3. The prosecutor shall immediately notify the Public Service Development Agency of the issuance of a decree revoking the suspension of a passport of a citizen of Georgia or of a neutral travel document.

4. A person whose passport of a citizen of Georgia or neutral travel document has been suspended, may notify the Public Service Development Agency of the revocation of the suspension of the passport/document.

Law of Georgia No 4995 of 1 July 2011 – website, 15.7.2011

Law of Georgia No 6317 of 25 May 2012 – website, 19.6.2012

 

Article 1651 – Search of an accused/convicted person escaped when removing/transferring him/her from a penitentiary institution or another placement, or during his/her extradition

On the motion of the General Director of the state sub-agency operating within the system of the Ministry of Justice of Georgia – the Special Penitentiary Service (‘the Special Penitentiary Service’), a prosecutor shall issue a resolution on searching an accused/convicted person escaped when removing/transferring him/her from a penitentiary institution or another placement, or during his/her extradition, through the police authorities.

Law of Georgia No 945 of 1 June 2017 – website, 20.6.2017

Law of Georgia No 3126 of 5 July 2018 – website, 11.7.2018

 

Section V

Initiating Criminal Prosecution, Selecting Measures of Restraint, Plea Bargaining

 

Chapter XVIII – Grounds for Criminal Prosecution; Arrest; Recognising as the Accused

 

Article 166 – Criminal prosecution

Prosecutors shall have sole discretion to initiate and conduct a criminal prosecution.

 

Article 167 – Suspending and refraining from initiating a criminal prosecution and/or a court hearing

1. A criminal prosecution shall be initiated upon the arrest of a person or upon the recognition of a person as the accused (if the latter has not been arrested).

2. A criminal prosecution and/or a court hearing shall not be initiated or shall be suspended:

a) if the Parliament of Georgia/the Constitutional Court of Georgia/the High Council of Justice of Georgia did not consent to the prosecution of the head of the Personal Data Inspection Service, the General Auditor/a judge, for a term during which the above persons are protected by the immunity;

b) if an issue of removing immunity from an alien has been raised, from the day the issue has been raised up to its official resolution;

c) against a person who is a victim of a crime provided for by Articles 1431 and/or 1432 of the Criminal Code of Georgia – during the reflection period;

d) if a court has applied to the Constitutional Court of Georgia to decide the constitutionality of a law, from the day of application until the day when the Constitutional Court delivers a decision.

3. If there are any of the circumstances specified in paragraph 2 of this article, the prosecutor, during the conduct of an investigation, or a court during a court hearing, shall decide, upon motion of a party, to suspend a criminal prosecution and/or a court hearing.

4. If the grounds for suspension specified in paragraph 2 of this article no longer exist, a court hearing/criminal prosecution shall be initiated/resumed.

5. Special procedures for prosecuting, arresting and applying other coercive measures in criminal procedure against the President of Georgia, a Member of Parliament of Georgia, a member of the Constitutional Court of Georgia, a member of the Supreme Court of Georgia, another judge of a common court of Georgia, the General Auditor, the Public Defender of Georgia, the head of the Special Investigation Service, the head of the Personal Data Protection Service, persons enjoying diplomatic immunity, as well as the representative of the International Criminal Court who, when exercising his/her powers, enjoys immunity under the Regulations of the International Criminal Court, shall be defined by the Constitution of Georgia, international agreements of Georgia, this Code and other legislative acts of Georgia.

Law of Georgia No 3616 of 24 September 2010 – LHG I, No 50, 24.9.2010, Art. 328

Law of Georgia No 6550 of 22 June 2012 – website, 29.6.2012

Law of Georgia No 2209 of 4 April 2012 – website, 8.4.2014

Law of Georgia No 2634 of 1 August 2014 – website, 18.8.2014

Law of Georgia No 3276 of 21 July 2018 – website, 9.8.2018

Law of Georgia No 3373 of 5 September 2018 – website, 21.9.2018

Law of Georgia No 4604 of 8 May 2019 – website, 8.5.2019

Law of Georgia No 1314 of 30 December 2021 – website, 13.01.2022

 

Article 168 – Discretionary prosecution

1. A prosecutor shall issue a relevant decree when exercising his/her discretionary powers to refuse to initiate a criminal prosecution. Before issuing an order refusing to initiate a criminal prosecution, the prosecutor shall be obliged to consult with the victim and prepare a report in accordance with Article 56(51) of this Code, and if a decree is issued, shall forward a copy of that record to the victim within one week after the order has been issued.

2. A victim may appeal a decree of a prosecutor refusing to initiate a criminal prosecution with a superior prosecutor only once. The decision of a superior prosecutor shall be final and may not be appealed , except when a particularly serious crime or a crime which, according to the law, is under the jurisdiction of the Special Investigation Service, has been committed. In this case, if a superior prosecutor does not grant the appeal, the victim may appeal the decision of the prosecutor to a district (city) court according to the place of investigation. The court shall deliver a ruling within 15 days, with or without an oral hearing. The decision of the court may not be appealed.

(The words of the second sentence of Article 168(2) – “The decision of a superior prosecutor shall be final and may not be appealed” – have been declared invalid Decision of the Constitutional Court of Georgia No 1/5/1355, 1389 of 27 July 2023 – website, 31.7.2023

3. If a superior prosecutor or a court has annulled a decree of a prosecutor refusing to initiate a criminal prosecution, and the period of limitation for prosecution has not expired, a criminal prosecution shall be initiated. In this case, the General Prosecutor of Georgia, or a person authorised by him/her, shall task another prosecutor with the duty to initiate a criminal prosecution and to carry out other prosecutorial activities.

4. The victim shall be notified of the decisions referred to in this article.

Law of Georgia No 2518 of 24 July 2014 – website, 6.8.2014

Law of Georgia No 3276 of 21 July 2018 – website, 9.8.2018

Law of Georgia No 3814 of 30 November 2018 – website, 13.12.2018

Law of Georgia No 4604 of 8 May 2019 – website, 8.5.2019

Law of Georgia No 1314 of 30 December 2021 – website, 13.01.2022

Decision of the Constitutional Court of Georgia No 1/5/1355, 1389 of 27 July 2023 – website, 31.7.2023

 

Article 1681 – Diversion

1. A prosecutor shall have the right not to initiate or he/she may terminate a criminal prosecution against a person (a subject of diversion) in the case of a less serious or serious crime, provided that person (subject of diversion) meets one or several of the following conditions:

a) transfer of illegally obtained property to the State, or reimbursement of the cost of that property;

b) transfer of an instrument of crime and/or an object removed from civil circulation to the State;

c) full or partial reimbursement of the damage caused as a result of his/her actions;

d) payment of a monetary sum in favour of the State Budget in the amount of at least GEL 500;

e) performance of unpaid community service for a period of 40 to 400 hours;

f) in the case of domestic crime – completion of compulsory training courses aimed at changing the violent attitude and behaviour.

2. Diversion shall not apply to cases specified in Articles 1431, 1432, 1433, 144, 1441, 1442 and 1443 of the Criminal Code of Georgia, and in the guidelines of criminal policy.

3. If a person (subject of diversion) does not fulfil the terms of diversion, the prosecutor may initiate or reopen the criminal prosecution.

Law of Georgia No 4868 of 21 June 2011 – website, 6.7.2011

Law of Georgia No 5352 of 25 November 2011 – website, 5.12.2011

Law of Georgia No 2706 of 17 October 2014 – website, 31.10.2014

 

Article 1682 – Procedure for applying diversion

1. A person (subject of diversion) shall be offered diversion in writing. That offer shall include terms of diversion and the time, place and means for their performance.

2. A person (subject of diversion) shall be informed in writing that the performance of the terms of diversion is voluntary and that he/she enjoys all the rights of an accused.

3. Before making a decision on diversion, the prosecutor shall consult with the victim (if any).

4. Diversion shall normally be applied before a preliminary hearing. Diversion may also be applied after a preliminary hearing if the parties file a motion with the court requesting to return the case to the prosecutor for the purpose of application of diversion. In this case, the court may return the case to the prosecutor who shall offer diversion to the accused.

5. Diversion shall not apply to an accused against whom detention has been applied as a measure of restraint.

6. When making a decision on diversion, the prosecutor shall be guided by this Code and the guidelines of criminal policy.

Law of Georgia No 4868 of 21 June 2011 – website, 6.7.2011

Law of Georgia No 5352 of 25 November 2011 – website, 5.12.2011

 

Article 169 – Indictment of a person

1. The grounds for the indictment of a person shall be the sum of evidence that is sufficient to establish probable cause that the person has committed a crime.

(The normative content of Article 169(1) providing for the possibility of indictment based on evidence – an indirect testimony determined under Article 76 of the same Code (version of 14 June 2013) has been declared invalid) – Decision of the Constitutional Court of Georgia No 1/1/548 of 22 January 2015 – website, 4.2.2015

2. When there are sufficient grounds for bringing charges, the prosecutor may issue a decree on the indictment of the person. After issuing the decree, the prosecutor shall determine the time and place of bringing charges. Charges shall be brought not later than 24 hours after the decree has been issued.

3. A decree on indictment shall include:

a) the name, surname and patronymic, the day, month and year of birth and personal number of the accused;

b) formulation of charges – a description of the incriminated act, indicating the location, time, way, means, instrument of its commission, as well as its consequences;

c) the evidence obtained as a result of the investigation, which is sufficient to establish probable cause that the given crime has been committed by that person;

d) the article, paragraph and sub-paragraph of the Criminal Code of Georgia that refers to that crime.

4. The operative part of the decree on indictment shall include a decision to bring charges against the person.

5. A prosecutor, or upon his/her instructions, an investigator, shall familiarise the accused and his/her defence lawyer (if the interests of the accused are defended by a defence lawyer) with the indictment; the accused and the lawyer shall confirm by signature, that they have become familiar with the indictment and received its copy. A copy of the indictment, together with a list of the rights and obligations of the accused, shall be delivered to the accused and/or to his/her defence lawyer. If the accused or his/her defence lawyer refuses to confirm by signature that they have become familiar with the indictment and its copy, the reasons for refusal shall be recorded in the indictment.

6. If the accused avoids appearing before an investigative authority, he/she or his/her relative shall be given a reasonable period for hiring a defence lawyer. If he/she fails to hire a defence lawyer within that period, the accused shall be assigned a mandatory defence. In order to bring charges, the prosecutor, or upon his/her instructions, an investigator, shall summon the defence lawyer of the accused and familiarise him/her with the indictment, which shall be considered the same as bringing charges. The defence lawyer of the accused shall confirm in writing that he/she has become familiar with the charges.

7. Consent of the Plenum of the Constitutional Court of Georgia shall be required for bringing charges against a member of the Constitutional Court of Georgia. Consent of the Parliament of Georgia shall be required for bringing charges against the head of the Special Investigation Service, the head of the Personal Data Protection Service, or the General Auditor. Consent of the High Council of Justice of Georgia shall be required for bringing charges against a member of the Supreme Court of Georgia or another judge of a common court of Georgia.

8. Before a preliminary hearing, a person may be indicted due to a single episode of crime for no longer than nine months, unless he/she was charged for another crime before the expiration of the above period. When bringing such charges, the running of the above period shall cease and the period shall be counted from the day when new charges are brought. Upon expiration of the above period, the criminal prosecution against the person shall be terminated. If a criminal prosecution against a person has been terminated in cases provided for by this paragraph, bringing the same charges against that person in the future shall be prohibited.

9. Within 10 days after receiving an indictment, a person may, in the manner provided for by this Code, file an appeal for intentional procrastination of the commencement of criminal prosecution to a superior prosecutor, or according to the place of investigation, to a district (city) court, which shall review the appeal within three days after its receipt. A court may review an appeal without an oral hearing. Satisfaction of the appeal shall serve as grounds for recognising as inadmissible all the evidence relating to the charges brought against that person, which have been obtained during the investigation, after sufficient grounds for initiating a criminal prosecution against the person have been provided. In cases provided for by this paragraph, a court ruling may be appealed to the investigation panel of the relevant court of appeal in accordance with Article 207 of this Code.

Law of Georgia No 3616 of 24 September 2010 – LHG I, No 50, 24.9.2010, Art. 328

Law of Georgia No 6550 of 22 June 2012 – website, 29.6.2012

Law of Georgia No 2209 of 4 April 2014 – website, 8.4.2014

Law of Georgia No 2634 of 1 August 2014 – website, 18.8.2014

Decision of the Constitutional Court of Georgia No 1/1/548 of 22 January 2015 – website, 4.2.2015

Law of Georgia No 3276 of 21 July 2018 – website, 9.8.2018

Law of Georgia No 3373 of 5 September 2018 – website, 21.9.2018

Law of Georgia No 4604 of 8 May 2019 – website, 8.5.2019

Law of Georgia No 1314 of 30 December 2021 – website, 13.01.2022

 

Article 170 – Arrest

1. Arrest is a short-term restriction of a person’s liberty.

2. A person shall be considered arrested from the moment when his/her liberty of movement is restricted. From the time of arrest, a person shall be considered to be the accused.

 

Article 171 – Grounds for arrest

1. If there is probable cause that a person has committed a crime for which the law provides imprisonment, or the person will flee or will not appear before a court, destroys information important to the case, or will commit a new crime, or if the issue of requesting consent from a foreign state in accordance with Article 16(4) of the Law of Georgia on International Cooperation in Criminal Matters is under consideration, upon motion of the prosecutor, the court, according to the place of investigation, shall deliver a ruling for the arrest of the person without an oral hearing. The ruling may not be appealed.

2. A person may be arrested without a court ruling if:

a) the person has been caught in action while or immediately after committing a crime (in flagrante delicto);

b) the person has been seen at the crime scene, and a criminal prosecution is immediately initiated to arrest him/her;

c) a clear trace of crime has been found on or with the person or on his/her clothes;

d) the person has fled after committing a crime, but he/she is identified by an eyewitness;

e) the person may flee;

f) the person is wanted;

g) this possibility is provided for by the Law of Georgia on International Cooperation in Criminal Matters.

3. A person may be arrested without a court ruling only if there is a probable cause that the person has committed a crime and the risk that he/she may flee, not appear before the court, destroy information that is important to the case, or commit a new crime cannot be prevented by an alternative measure that is proportional to the circumstances of the alleged crime and to personal characteristics of the accused.

4. A minor under Article 26(8) of the Code on Child Rights may not be arrested, except for the case provided for by the legislation of Georgia.

Law of Georgia No 3157 of 20 July 2018 – website, 6.8.2018

Law of Georgia No 5010 of 20 September 2019 – website, 27.9.2019

Law of Georgia No 5910 of 21 May 2020 – website, 25.5.2020

 

Article 172 – Persons authorised to make an arrest

Employees of a body authorised to carry out an investigation, who perform operative functions, keep public order, conduct investigations or criminal prosecutions shall be authorised to arrest.

 

Article 173 – Immunity from arrest

The following persons may not be arrested: persons enjoying diplomatic immunity and their family members, the President of Georgia, a Member of the Parliament of Georgia, the General Auditor, the Public Defender of Georgia, the head of the Special Investigation Service, the head of the Personal Data Protection Service, and a judge. This prohibition, except for the President of Georgia, and persons enjoying a diplomatic immunity and their family members, shall not apply to a case under Article 171(2)(a) of this Code.

Law of Georgia No 6550 of 22 June 2012– website, 29.6.2012

Law of Georgia No 2634 of 1 August 2014 – website, 18.8.2014

Law of Georgia No 3276 of 21 July 2018 – website, 9.8.2018

Law of Georgia No 4604 of 8 May 2019 – website, 8.5.2019

Law of Georgia No 1314 of 30 December 2021 – website, 13.01.2022

 

Article 174 – Procedure for arrest

1. If there are grounds for arrest, the arresting officer shall be obliged to clearly notify the arrested person of those grounds, explain which crime he/she is suspected of committing, and inform him/her that he/she may use the services of a defence lawyer, remain silent and refrain from answering questions, not to incriminate himself/herself, and that everything he/she says can be used against him/her in court. A statement made by the arrested person before being informed of his/her rights as provided for by this paragraph shall be considered as inadmissible evidence.

2. The arresting officer shall immediately take the arrested person to the nearest police station or to another law enforcement body.

3. If there is probable cause that the arrested person has a weapon, and/or intends to get rid of it, damage or destroy an item, substance or any other object containing information that has evidentiary value, the arresting officer may conduct a personal search as prescribed by Article 121(2) of this Code.

4. As soon as the arrested person is brought to the place of custody, upon his/her request, the person shall be examined by a physician in order to establish his/her general health condition, and a relevant certificate shall be issued by the physician.

5. The term of arrest shall not exceed 72 hours. Not later than 48 hours after the arrest, the arrested person shall be given an indictment. If an indictment is not given to the arrested person within that period, he/she shall be immediately released.

6. The term of arrest shall be counted towards the term of detention.

Law of Georgia No 3891 of 7 December 2010 – LHG I, No 67, 9.12.2010, Art. 418

 

Article 175 – Record of arrest

1. The arresting officer shall, immediately upon arrest, prepare a record of arrest. If a record of arrest cannot be prepared immediately upon the arrest due to objective reasons, it shall be prepared as soon as the arrested person is brought to a police station or any other law enforcement body.

2. A record of arrest shall indicate: the person arrested, the place, time and circumstances of the arrest, as well as grounds for arrest provided for by this Code, the physical condition of the arrested person at the time of arrest, the crime that he/she is accused of committing, the exact time of bringing him/her to the police station or to any other law enforcement body, a list of rights and obligations of the accused provided for by this Code, also, in relevant cases, the objective reason(s) due to which the record of arrest could not be prepared immediately upon arrest.

3. A record of arrest shall be signed by: the official who arrested a person, the arrested person and his/her defence lawyer (in the case of his/her presence). When the accused is carried to a police station or to any other law enforcement body, an authorised person of the person or of the law enforcement body shall sign a record of arrest. An arrested person shall be given a record of arrest. If a person was searched personally during his/her arrest, no separate record shall be prepared on this investigative action.

4. Unless a person has been explained the rights provided for by Article 174 of this Code and has been given a record of arrest, or if a record of arrest has been prepared with a substantial violation that worsens the person’s legal status, the person deprived of liberty shall be immediately released.

 

Article 176 – Grounds and procedure for releasing an arrested person

1. An arrested person shall be released if:

a) the suspicion that he/she has committed a crime has not been confirmed;

b) no decision has been made to apply against him/her detention as a measure of restraint;

c) the period established for arrest by this Code has expired;

d) a consent to arrest the person has not been received from the authorised state body or official;

e) the criminal procedure law was substantially violated during the arrest;

f) the arrest is no longer required to achieve the goals of the criminal procedure.

2. An arrested person shall be released under a decision of a prosecutor or a judge.

3. An arrested person shall be released under a decree of the head of the place of custody if the period of arrest has expired.

4. Upon release, the arrested person shall be given a copy of the decision on the release.

5. Regardless of whether the arrested person is convicted or not, he/she shall be fully reimbursed from the State Budget for the damage incurred as a result of an unlawful and unjustified arrest.

6. Under a decree of the prosecutor, the accused may be temporarily removed from the place of custody for the purpose of his/her participation in an investigative action, except when such an investigative action is to be carried out as the participation in which requires the consent of the arrested person. Upon completion of an investigative action, the arrested person shall be immediately returned to the place of custody.

Law of Georgia No 3616 of 24 September 2010 – LHG I, No 50, 24.9.2010, Art. 328

Law of Georgia No 3891 of 7 December 2010 – LHG I, No 67, 9.12.2010, Art. 418

 

Article 177 – Notification of arrest, detention or placement in a medical facility for expert examination

1. A prosecutor, or upon his/her instructions, an investigator, shall, not later than 3 hours after the arrest, detention or placement in a medical facility for expert examination, notify any of the person’s family members, or in the case of their absence, any of his/her relatives or close persons, and in the case of detention or placement in a medical facility also notify the place of his/her employment or education.

2. If a person arrested, detained or placed for expert examination in a medical facility is an alien, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs shall be notified of this within the period indicated in paragraph 1 of this article. The Ministry shall immediately notify thereof the diplomatic mission or consular office of the relevant state.

Law of Georgia No 3616 of 24 September 2010 – LHG I, No 50, 24.9.2010, Art. 328

Law of Georgia No 6439 of 12 June 2012– website, 22.6.2012

 

Article 178 – Measures for protecting the dependents of a person who is arrested, detained or placed in a medical facility for expert examination, his/her residence and any other property

1. If a person who is arrested, detained or placed in a medical facility for expert examination has a minor child, aged parent or any other dependents who are left without care and support, the prosecutor and the court shall be obliged to transfer those persons to a relative, any other person or an appropriate institution. If that person’s property is left unattended, the prosecutor and the court shall be obliged to take measures to protect the property.

2. A person arrested, detained or placed in a medical facility for expert examination shall be immediately notified of the measures taken. For this purpose, the investigator or the prosecutor shall draft a notice that shall be attached to the criminal case, and/or a relevant record shall be entered in the record of the court session.

 

Article 179 – Conducting criminal proceedings against an unidentified accused/convicted person

1. If the identity (name, surname, age, gender, citizenship) of a person arrested for the commission of a crime has not been established, and that person refuses to identify himself/herself, or that person cannot be identified due to a physical disability or any other objective circumstance, the investigator or the prosecutor shall, with the involvement of relevant experts, draw up a record that shall provide a description of all potential external characteristics of the person (approximate age, gender, height, hair colour, eye colour, other special features of his/her countenance and appearance) that can be used for his/her identification (a photograph of the person shall be attached to the record). In addition, with the consent of the head of the structural division of the prosecutor’s office that provides procedural supervision, a person may be assigned a conditional name using such combination of digits and/or letters which, based on the actual circumstances of the case, will allow for the identification of that person during subsequent procedural actions. A conditional name may not be degrading and insulting to human dignity.

2. In cases provided for by paragraph 1 of this article, all subsequent procedural actions provided for by this Code shall be carried out in full, without any delay. In addition, all procedural actions taken with respect to an unidentified accused or convicted person shall be carried out with the mandatory involvement of a defence lawyer. The State shall reimburse the costs of services provided by the appointed defence lawyer.

3. Not later than three days after bringing charges against an unidentified person, if necessary, a medical psychiatric examination shall be ordered in the manner prescribed by this Code. The examination shall, along with other issues, establish the mental status, blood group, other biometric data of that person, and his/her fingerprints shall be registered.

4. The investigator, the prosecutor, shall be obliged to ensure the taking of all reasonable measures provided for by the legislation of Georgia to identify the person referred to in this article (establish his/her name, surname, age, citizenship and sanity).

5. If the identity of an unidentified person is established at any stage of criminal proceedings, the investigator, the prosecutor, the court shall, before the court passes a judgment of conviction, within 48 hours, be obliged to adjust to that circumstance the final decisions existing in the criminal case.

6. Before delivering a judgment against an unidentified person, the court shall be obliged to make sure that all reasonable identification measures provided for by the legislation of Georgia have been taken.

7. If the identity of an unidentified person is established after a judgment of conviction against that person enters into force and this circumstance affects the qualification of the crime or the measure of punishment, or results in discharge from criminal liability, the judgment shall be revised due to newly revealed circumstances in the manner prescribed by this Code, except when those circumstances cause a change for the worse.

Law of Georgia No 6253 of 22 May 2012 – website, 29.5.2012

 

Article 180 – Placing a person in a medical facility

1. If there is a reasonable belief that the accused person was insane at the time of committing the crime or became insane after committing the crime, and the interests of public security require that he/she be isolated in a medical facility, the court shall, according to the place of investigation and upon motion of the prosecutor or a defence lawyer, issue a ruling placing that person in a public medical facility. The motion shall be reviewed without an oral hearing , within 48 hours, and the decision made may not be appealed .

(The words in the second sentence of Article 180(1) ‘The motion shall be reviewed without an oral hearing’ and ‘and the decision made may not be appealed’ have been declared invalid) Decision of the Constitutional Court of Georgia No 2/2/1506 of 13 April 2022 – website, 15.4.2022

2. A court ruling placing a person in a medical facility shall be prepared independently from a decree (ruling) assigning an expert examination. It shall include: the name, surname and procedural status of the person who is to be placed in a medical facility; the name of the medical facility in which the person is to be placed.

Decision of the Constitutional Court of Georgia No 2/2/1506 of 13 April 2022 – website, 15.4.2022

 

Article 181 – Period of placement of a person in a medical facility

1. An accused person may be placed in a medical facility for expert examination for no longer than 20 days.

2. In exceptional cases, based on a medical report of physicians conducting the in-patient examination, this period may be extended for 10 days under a court ruling. The period may not be further extended, even if the person placed in a medical facility consents to such extension.

3. If a person has been placed in a medical facility several times for the same criminal case, the total period of his/her stay in that facility shall not be longer than the period prescribed by this article.

4. The accused or his/her defence lawyer may file a motion with the court requesting extension of the period of inpatient expert examination. The total duration of stay for inpatient expert examination may not exceed two months.

5. The period of stay of the accused in an inpatient facility shall be included in the term of detention, except for the period of stay in an inpatient facility for expert examination that is conducted upon motion of his/her defence lawyer.

 

Chapter XIX General Provisions on Court Hearing

 

Article 182 – Publicity of court sessions

1. A court session shall, as a rule, be oral and public.

2. A court shall review materials that contain state secrets in camera.

3. A court may, upon motion of any of the parties or on its own initiative, make a decision to partially or fully close a session:

a) for the purpose of protecting personal data, or professional or commercial secrets;

b) (deleted – 12.6.2015, No 3715 );

c) for the purpose of personal security of a participant in proceedings and/or of his/her family member (close relative), or if a special measure of protection is applied with respect to a participant in proceedings, which requires the closing of a trial session;

d) for the purpose of defending the interests of a victim of sexual offence, trading in persons (trafficking) or domestic crime;

e) when a person whose personal correspondence or personal communications is to be produced in the trial does not give his/her consent.

4. To keep order, the judge may, on his/her initiative, close a trial in full or in part.

41. Regardless of a ruling ordering partial or full closure of a court session, the judge may allow the person who has been recognised as a victim in the given case to attend the session either in full or in part.

42. A coordinator of a witness and a victim from the Prosecutor’s Office shall be present at a closed court hearing during the examination of evidence involving a witness and a victim if so desired by the witness/victim.

5. If deciding the issue of closing a court session requires public discussion of such circumstances that cannot not be made public and the opposing party disagrees with the motion to close the session, the issue shall be reviewed in a closed session.

6. The judge shall be obliged to publicly announce the grounds for closing a court session.

7. The court may obligate the persons attending a closed session not to disclose information that they learn during the session.

8. Persons under 14 years of age shall not be allowed to attend a court session, except when they are participants in proceedings. The presiding judge may allow persons under 14 years of age to attend a court session.

9. An armed person may be allowed into a courtroom only with permission of the presiding judge.

10. The presiding judge shall be authorised not to allow into a court session a person who appears in an inappropriate form or state.

Law of Georgia No 6328 of 25 May 2012 – website, 12.6.2012

Law of Georgia No 2518 of 24 July 2014 – website, 6.8.2014

Law of Georgia No 2706 of 17 October 2014 – website, 31.10.2014

Law of Georgia No 3715 of 12 June 2015 – website, 24.6.2015

Law of Georgia No 2270 of 4 May 2018 – website, 21.5.2018

Law of Georgia No 663 of 22 June 2021 – website, 24.6.2021

 

Article 1821 – (Deleted)

Law of Georgia No 205 of 18 January 2013 – website, 28.1.2013

Law of Georgia No 583 of 1 May 2013 – website, 20.5.2013

 

Article 183 – Immutability of a court composition during a hearing

Cases shall be heard with the same composition of the court. If a judge is not able to participate in the proceedings, he/she shall be replaced with another judge of the same court, and the case hearing shall start anew, except for a case provided for by Article 184 of this Code.

 

Article 184 – Substitute judge

1. By decision of the chairperson of the court, a substitute judge may be assigned to a case, who shall substitute a judge who has withdrawn from the composition of the court, and the case hearing shall continue.

2. If a case is heard by a jury court, by decision of the chairperson of the court, a substitute judge shall be mandatorily assigned to the case, who shall substitute the chairperson of a jury selection session in his/her absence, and the process of jury selection shall continue.

Law of Georgia No 707 of 28 June 2021 – website, 29.6.2021

 

Article 185 – Place and continuity of a court hearing

1. A court hearing shall take place in a courtroom. A court hearing, upon motion of the parties, may be conducted outside a courtroom in order to inspect the place of the incident or any other place, a building, a vehicle or any other facility that cannot be brought into the courtroom, also due to the serious illness of a person who is to be examined, or due to other objective reasons.

2. A court hearing may not be interrupted, except for the time required for recess. A case hearing may be adjourned under a court ruling upon motion of a party, only if the judge, the juror, the party, the witness or the interpreter fails to appear, or when an investigative action is carried out, as well as in cases directly provided for by this Code. During the period of adjournment of the hearing, the court may review other criminal cases (motions, appeals).

3. After 18:00, the court may adjourn the hearing upon motion of the party or on its own initiative.

4. A party may file a reasoned motion with the court in advance to change (move back or forward) the date of a court hearing, and notify the other party accordingly. The court shall hear the motion without an oral hearing. The decision made may not be appealed.

5. Based on mutual agreement, the parties may jointly file a reasoned motion with the court in advance and request a change (moving back or forward) of the date of a court hearing. The court shall hear the motion without an oral hearing. The decision made by the judge may not be appealed.

6. A court of first instance shall render a judgment not later than 24 hours after the judge of the preliminary hearing makes a decision to refer the case for a hearing on the merits.

7. The time limit defined by paragraph 6 of this article shall not apply to a criminal case where the accused avoids appearing before the court, and/or where the accused is wanted.

Law of Georgia No 3616 of 24 September 2010 – LHG I, No 50, 24.9.2010, Art. 328

Law of Georgia No 3891 of 7 December 2010 – LHG I, No 67, 9.12.2010, Art. 418

Law of Georgia No 4631 of 5 May 2011 – website, 19.5.2011

Law of Georgia No 3976 of 8 July 2015 – website, 20.7.2015

 

Article 186 – Hearing procedure

1. Before the court enters and leaves a courtroom, a secretary of the court session shall announce ‘All rise, the court is in session!’ or ‘All rise, the court is in recess!’, respectively. Upon this announcement, all persons attending the session shall rise.

2. Participants in proceedings shall address the court politely and with respect, after which, they shall make statements while standing. Any exception to the rules of conduct in the court shall only be allowed by the presiding judge.

 

Article 187 – Commencement of a court session

A court session shall commence with an announcement of the judge (in the case of a hearing by a panel of judges, by the reporting judge) of the commencement of the hearing.

 

Article 188 – Appearance of a party at a court session

1. A party shall be obliged to appear at a court session at the specified time.

2. Before a court session begins, the party shall notify the court, in the manner provided for by this Code, of his/her inability to appear for a valid reason.

3. Upon motion of a party, the court may decide that the moving party may participate in the hearing remotely, using technical means, of which the parties shall be preliminarily notified.

Law of Georgia No 6392 of 5 June 2012 – website, 19.6.2012

 

Article 189 – Hearing in the absence of the accused

1. A case hearing in the absence of the accused may be held if the accused avoids appearing before the court. In such a case, participation of a defence lawyer of the accused in the case hearing shall be mandatory.

2. If a detained accused has not been presented before the court due to a failure to transport him/her, the court shall adjourn the hearing for a reasonable period but no longer than 10 days, and notify the General Director of the Special Penitentiary Service accordingly, who shall be obliged to ensure the attendance of the accused at the next session, and notify the court of the reason for failure to transport the accused.

Law of Georgia No 3528 of 1 May 2015 – website, 18.5.2015

Law of Georgia No 3126 of 5 July 2018 – website, 11.7.2018

 

Article 190 – Participation of a prosecutor and of a defence lawyer in a court hearing and consequences of their non-appearance

1. If a defence lawyer does not appear at a court session, the court shall provide the accused with a defence lawyer at the expense of the State, in the manner prescribed by this Code and shall adjourn the hearing for a reasonable period, but for no longer than 10 days. The court may once again adjourn the hearing at the next session for not more than 5 days, provided that the defence files a reasoned motion indicating an objective reason for the non-appearance of the defence lawyer. If the motion is not filed, or if a filed motion is rejected or if the defence lawyer fails to appear after the motion has been granted, the session shall continue with the participation of a defence lawyer from the relevant legal aid service.

2. If a case is heard against two or more accused persons and the defence lawyer of any of them fails to appear at a court session, the court may continue the hearing against the other accused person, unless this prejudices the interests of the accused and affects the full and impartial examination of evidence. In addition, the court shall make sure that the defence lawyer, who does not participate in the court session held in his/her absence, is presented with the record of the court session.

3. If a prosecutor fails to appear, the court shall adjourn the hearing for a reasonable period, but for no longer than 10 days, and notify the General Prosecutor’s Office of Georgia and the superior prosecutor accordingly; the superior prosecutor shall be obliged to ensure the participation of the prosecutor at the next session, and notify the court of the reason for non-appearance.

Law of Georgia No 3616 of 24 September 2010 – LHG I, No 50, 24.9.2010, Art. 328

Law of Georgia No 3814 of 30 November 2018 – website, 13.12.2018

 

Article 191 – Termination of criminal prosecution during a hearing on the merits; Review of an issue of insanity

1. When there are grounds provided for by this Code, the court that hears a case on the merits shall, upon motion of the party, terminate the criminal prosecution. In addition, the court shall annul the imposed measure of restraint, and decide other issues provided for by this Code.

2. If it is established that at the moment of committing a crime the accused was insane, the court shall, upon motion of a party, terminate the criminal prosecution against the accused. In addition, the judge reviewing the case shall, if there are grounds provided for by Article 221(1) of the Law of Georgia on Mental Health, decide, with the same ruling and based on the report of a forensic psychiatric examination, to order a compulsory psychiatric treatment of that person. That ruling may be appealed in accordance with Article 207 of this Code.

21. In cases provided for by paragraph 2 of this article, the judge shall determine, with a ruling, the period for compulsory psychiatric treatment. This period shall not exceed four years. When determining the period, the mental health of the accused and the degree of risk of injury, threat and/or violence to which the accused may expose himself/herself and/or any other person, and which are indicated in the report of a forensic psychiatric examination, shall be taken into consideration. In addition, the ruling shall indicate that a compulsory psychiatric treatment may be prematurely terminated when the grounds provided for by Article 221(1) of the Law of Georgia on Mental Health are eliminated, if their elimination can be confirmed in the manner prescribed by the same law.

3. If it is established that when committing the crime the accused was sane, but became insane after committing the crime, the court shall deliver a judgment of conviction ordering the convicted person to serve the sentence in the relevant medical (healthcare) facility until he/she recovers, after which the convicted person shall continue serving the sentence in accordance with the general procedures.

4. If it is established that the accused placed in a penitentiary institution, against whom proceedings have been completed, displays signs of mental disorder, the issue of providing him/her with psychiatric aid shall be resolved according to the Law of Georgia on Mental Health and the Imprisonment Code. In the case of recovery, the convicted person shall continue serving the sentence in accordance with the general procedures.

Law of Georgia No 3616 of 24 September 2010 – LHG I, No 50, 24.9.2010, Art. 328

Law of Georgia No 2539 of 26 July 2014 – website, 6.8.2014

Law of Georgia No 3528 of 1 May 2015 – website, 18.5.2015

Law of Georgia No 6363 of 23 June 2020 – website, 1.7.2020

 

Article 1911 – Power of a judge in the case of subjecting an accused/a convict to torture, to degrading and/or inhuman treatment

1. If, at any stage of a criminal proceeding, a judge suspects that an accused/a convict has been subjected to torture, to degrading and/or inhuman treatment, or if the accused/the convict himself/herself has stated about it before court, the judge shall apply to an appropriate investigative body for response.

2. If the life or health of an accused/a convict placed in a penitentiary institution is threatened, and/or if a judge suspects that an accused/a convict has been or may be subjected to torture, to degrading and/or inhuman treatment, the judge shall be authorised to task, by a ruling, the General Director of the Special Penitentiary Service with taking extreme measures necessary for providing security to such an accused/a convict.

Law of Georgia No 3276 of 21 July 2018 – website, 9.8.2018

Law of Georgia No 4604 of 8 May 2019 – website, 8.5.2019

 

Article 192 – Procedure for rendering a ruling at a court session

1. During a court hearing, the court shall render a ruling to decide all issues, except for a judgment.

11. A court ruling may refer to provisions of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms and its Additional Protocols, and the case law of the European Court of Human Rights on a similar legal issue that the court has relied on.

2. The court shall render a ruling without retiring to chambers. The ruling shall be included in the record of a court session.

3. The court may render a ruling in chambers.

4. A court ruling shall be announced publicly.

Law of Georgia No 1918 of 18 October 2022 – website, 24.10.2022

 

Article 193 – Court deliberations and voting during a review by a panel of judges

1. Court deliberations shall be confidential. No technical means of communication may be used in chambers.

2. The court may decide the issues relating to a case hearing without leaving the courtroom.

3. Only the judge hearing the case may participate in the court deliberations and voting.

4. The presiding judge shall chair the court deliberations and formulate issues that are to be decided.

5. The court shall deliver a decision by a ballot, with a majority of votes. A decision to impose life imprisonment as a measure of punishment shall be made only unanimously.

6. A judge may not refrain from participating in the voting. The presiding judge shall vote last.

7. If a dissenting opinion arises with regard to an issue during a court deliberation, the opinion that is in favour of the accused shall be voted on first.

8. If, during a voting with regard to legal issues, a judge is in a minority, he/she shall be obliged to formulate the dissenting opinion in writing. The dissenting opinion shall be presented to the presiding judge and it shall be enclosed with the decision.

 

Article 194 – Making a court decision public

1. During a court session, a decision delivered by the court shall be orally announced. An oral decision shall be recorded in the record of the court session, and the written decision shall be enclosed with the record and a note to that effect shall be made in the record.

2. A court decision shall be substantiated.

 

Article 195 – Record of the court session

1. A record shall be prepared for each court session. A record may be drawn up in shorthand and through other technical means. The record shall fully cover the progress of the court session.

2. Not later than five days after the completion of a court session, or after the adjournment of a court session, if it is adjourned, the presiding judge and the secretary of the court session shall sign the record and immediately notify the parties accordingly.

3. The presiding judge shall be obliged to make sure that the parties are presented with the record.

4. The parties may, within five days after being notified of the signing of the record of the court session, submit their remarks with respect to the record. The court hearing the case shall review those remarks within five days, without an oral hearing.

5. After reviewing the remarks, the court shall render a ruling by which it confirms the correctness of the remarks or rejects them. Remarks made with respect to the record and the court ruling shall be attached to the case. The party submitting the remarks may appeal the court ruling along with the judgment.

Law of Georgia No 741 of 14 June 2013 – website, 27.6.2013

 

Chapter XX – Initial Appearance of the Accused in Court; Measures of Restraint

 

Article 196 – Initial appearance of the accused in court

1. Not later than 48 hours after the arrest, the prosecutor shall, according to the place of investigation, file a motion with the court for application of a measure of restraint.

2. In special cases, when the accused cannot be brought from the place of custody to the court due to his/her illness or a natural calamity or other objective reasons, the judge may hold a court session at the detention facility.

3. If a motion provided for by this article is not filed with a magistrate judge within 48 hours after the arrest, the arrested person shall be immediately released.

 

Article 197 – First proceeding before the court; informing the accused of his/her rights

1. Not later than 24 hours after a motion is filed for the application of a measure of restraint, the magistrate judge shall, at the first proceeding before the court, in the presence of the parties:

a) establish the identity of the accused;

b) find out whether the accused understands the language of the criminal proceedings;

c) inform the accused of the essence of the accusation and his/her rights, including the right to file a complaint (claim) for torture and inhuman treatment;

d) notify the accused of the type and measure of punishment specified in the charges filed;

e) find out if it is possible to conclude a plea bargain, and in the case of consent of the parties, make a respective decision;

f) review a motion for applying a measure of restraint;

g) enquire from the accused whether he/she intends to file any complaint or motion with regard to a violation of his/her rights;

h) exercise other powers prescribed by this Code.

2. The first proceeding before the court shall be held without interruption.

 

Article 198 – Purpose and grounds for applying a measure of restraint

1. A measure of restraint shall be applied to ensure that the accused appears in court, to prevent his/her further criminal activities, and to ensure the enforcement of the judgment. Detention or any other measure of restraint may not be applied against the accused if the purpose provided for by this paragraph can be achieved through another less severe measure of restraint.

2. The grounds for applying a measure of restraint shall be a reasonable assumption that the accused will flee or will not appear in court, will destroy the information that is important for the case, or will commit a new crime.

3. When filing a motion for applying a measure of restraint, the prosecutor shall be obliged to provide reasons for the appropriateness of the requested measure of restraint, and inappropriateness of another, less severe measure of restraint.

4. A court may impose on the accused detention as a measure of restraint only when the purpose provided for by paragraph 1 of this article cannot be achieved by the application of other less severe measures of restraint.

5. When deciding to apply a measure of restraint and its specific type, the court shall take into consideration the personality, occupation, age, health status, marital and material status of the accused, compensation for property damage caused, violation of any of the previously applied measures of restraint, and other circumstances.

6. Detention pending extradition shall also be applied as a measure of restraint to execute an order of the Minister of Justice of Georgia granting the request for extradition (transfer), except in cases provided for by this article and Article 205 of this Code. In such case, the court shall take into account only the circumstances defined by Article 30(111) of the Law of Georgia on International Cooperation in Criminal Matters.

Law of Georgia No 430 of 30 March 2021 – website, 13.4.2021

 

Article 199 – Types of a measure of restraint

1. Types of a measure of restraint include: bail, an agreement not to leave and to behave properly, personal surety, supervision by the command of the behaviour of a military service person, and detention.

2. The following measures may also be applied against the accused along with measures of restraint: an obligation to appear in court at the specified time or upon summons; prohibition to engage in certain activities or pursue a certain profession; an obligation to report to the court, police or any other state body daily or with other frequency; supervision by the agency designated by the court; electronic monitoring; obligation to be at a certain place during certain hours or without that; prohibition to leave or enter certain places; prohibition to meet certain persons without special authorisation; obligation to surrender a passport or any other identity document; any other measure prescribed by the court that is necessary to achieve the purpose of the measure of restraint.

3. If a criminal prosecution has been initiated against a person for charges related to the violence against women and/or domestic violence or domestic crime, the court shall, on a priority basis, along with the issue of applying a measure of restraint, consider the issue of imposing the obligation to seize a firearm from the accused, and/or prohibiting him/her from entering a certain place and from approaching the victim.

Law of Georgia No 2706 of 17 October 2014 – website, 31.10.2014

Law of Georgia No 3715 of 12 June 2015 – website, 24.6.2015

Law of Georgia No 768 of 4 May 2017 – website, 25.5.2017

Law of Georgia No 2396 of 30 May 2018 – website, 8.6.2018

 

Article 200 – Bail

1. Bail is a monetary sum or immovable property. A monetary sum shall be deposited by the accused or by another person on behalf of or in favour of the accused to the deposit account of the Legal Entity under Public Law within the Ministry of Justice of Georgia – the National Bureau of Enforcement (‘the National Bureau of Enforcement’), with the written undertaking given to the court that the accused will behave properly and that he/she will timely appear before the investigator, prosecutor, or the court. The immovable property deposited instead of a monetary sum shall be arrested. A record shall be drawn up on the receipt of bail; one copy of the record shall be kept by the bailor.

2. When filing a motion with the court requesting bail as a measure of restraint against the accused, the prosecutor shall indicate the amount of the bail and the date of its posting. After determining the amount of bail, the accused or any other person on behalf of or in favour of the accused may, instead of the bail amount, post as bail immovable property that is equivalent to the monetary sum. The bail amount shall be determined taking into consideration the gravity of the crime committed and the financial status of the accused. Bail amount shall not be less than GEL 1 000.

3. Before posting bail, the bailor shall be warned about the potential consequences referred to in paragraph 7 of this article in the case of non-performance of the conditions set out in the written obligation.

4. The prosecutor shall, according to the place of investigation, file a motion with the court requesting the application of bail as a measure of restraint against the accused, in the manner provided for by this Code.

5. If the accused fails, within the specified period, to deposit the bail amount to the deposit account of the National Bureau of Enforcement, or to deposit immovable property, the prosecutor shall file a motion with the court requesting a more severe measure of restraint.

6. The court shall, upon motion of the prosecutor or on its own initiative, in order to ensure the application of bail, impose detention on an accused who was subjected to arrest as a coercive measure in criminal procedure, until he/she deposits, in full or in part (but not less than 50%), the bail amount to the deposit account of the National Bureau of Enforcement. The posting of bail shall be confirmed by the court or by the prosecutor.

(The normative content of the first sentence of Article 200(6), which excludes the release of an accused by the judge prior to the posting of bail, has been declared invalid) Decision of the Constitutional Court of Georgia No 3/5/1341, 1660 of 24 June 2022 – website, 28.6.2022

7. If the accused against whom bail has been selected as a measure of restraint violates the conditions of this measure or the law, the court, upon motion of the prosecutor, shall render a ruling replacing the bail with a more severe measure of restraint. Under the same ruling, the monetary sum posted as bail shall be transferred to the State Budget, and the immovable property, to ensure the recovery of the bail amount, shall be transferred for enforcement in accordance with the Law of Georgia on Enforcement Proceedings.

8. The accused or the bailor who posted bail in his/her favour shall, within a month after the enforcement of the judgment, be fully reimbursed with the monetary sum deposited as bail (taking into consideration the exchange rate at the time the bail was posted) and immovable property, provided the accused was performing his/her obligations properly and in good faith, and the measure of restraint selected against him/her has not been replaced with a more severe measure of restraint.

9. If, before a final decision is delivered in the case, the bailor who posted bail in favour of the accused files a written statement with the prosecutor or with the court, respectively, claiming that he/she is not able to ensure the appropriate behaviour and timely appearance of the accused before the investigator, the prosecutor, or the court, the bailor shall, within a month, receive back the total bail amount (taking into consideration the inflation rate at the time the bail was posted) and immovable property, and a more severe measure of restraint may be applied against the accused.

10. A bailor shall receive back the bail amount after he/she presents the decision of the relevant court or prosecutor to the National Bureau of Enforcement.

11. If the accused fulfils the assumed obligation in good faith, the prosecutor may file, according to the place of investigation or jurisdiction, a motion with the court requesting the reduction of the bail amount. When filing and reviewing the above motion, the procedures provided for by this paragraph and by this Code shall apply. At the stage of investigation, a motion shall be reviewed without an oral hearing, within 24 hours after it has been filed.

Law of Georgia No 3616 of 24 September 2010 – LHG I, No 50, 24.9.2010, Art. 328

Law of Georgia No 3972 of 10 December 2010 – LHG I, No 72, 22.12.2010, Art. 436

Decision of the Constitutional Court of Georgia No 3/5/1341, 1660 of 24 June 2022 – website, 28.6.2022

 

Article 201 – (Deleted)

Law of Georgia No 3715 of 12 June 2015 – website, 24.6.2015

 

Article 202 – Agreement not to leave and to behave properly

An agreement not to leave and to behave properly may be applied only for crimes that carry imprisonment of not more than one year.

 

Article 203 – Personal surety

1. When providing personal surety, trustworthy persons shall assume a written obligation to ensure the appropriate behaviour of the accused and his/her appearance before the investigator, the prosecutor, and the court.

2. The number of persons serving as sureties shall be determined by the court.

3. A personal surety may be selected only upon motion or consent of the surety, as well as with the consent of the accused.

4. The surety shall be informed of the essence of the charges for which the given measure of restraint has been selected, the sentence that may be imposed on the accused, and the liability that will be imposed on the surety if the accused commits an act for the prevention of which the personal surety has been applied. In addition, a written assurance shall be taken from each surety and attached to the criminal case files.

5. A surety may, before the grounds are detected that result in his/her liability, renounce the obligations assumed. If a surety fails to fulfil the obligation assumed, he/she may not make excuses by claiming that he/she was not able to control the behaviour of the accused, except when he/she proves the existence of force majeure.

6. If the accused commits an act for the prevention of which surety was applied as a measure of restraint, the court may, upon motion of a party, impose a fine on each surety, under Article 91(8) of this Code.

 

Article 204 – Supervision of a military service person’s behaviour by the command

1. The accused who is serving in the national military conscription service, contracted military service, or military reserve service, may, under a court ruling, be transferred to the supervision of the command of a military unit, military division, or a military establishment.

2. Supervision by the command shall mean the taking of measures provided for by the regulations of the Defence Forces of Georgia to ensure the appropriate behaviour of the accused, or his/her appearance before the investigator, the prosecutor or the court.

3. During the period of this measure of restraint, the accused may not be assigned to serve as a guard, or to perform any other responsible duty. He/she shall be deprived of the right to carry arms during peaceful times, shall not be sent to work alone outside the military unit, shall not be released from the unit and shall be supervised by the military command and superiors.

4. The command of a military unit, division or a military establishment shall be informed of the essence of the charges for which this measure of restraint was applied.

5. A court ruling on the selection, change or annulment of this measure of restraint shall be binding on the command of the military unit, division and military establishment.

6. The command of the military unit, division and military establishment shall inform the prosecutor or the court of the imposition of supervision.

7. A military commander (superior) supervising the accused shall be obliged to immediately inform the investigator, the prosecutor, or the court of the inappropriate behaviour of the accused for the prevention of which this measure of restraint was selected. In this case, a more severe measure of restraint shall be selected upon motion of the prosecutor.

Law of Georgia No 3610 of 31 October 2018 – website, 21.11.2018

Law of Georgia No 3537 of 21 September 2023 – website, 12.10.2023

 

Article 205 – Detention

1. Detention as a measure of restraint shall be applied only if it is the only means to prevent the accused from:

a) hiding and interfering with the rendering of justice;

b) interfering with the collection of evidence;

c) committing a new crime.

2. The total term of detention of the accused may not exceed nine months. After this period expires, the accused shall be released from the detention. The period of detention of the accused shall be calculated from the moment of his/her arrest, or if the accused has not been arrested, from the moment of enforcement of a court ruling on the selection of this measure of restraint, to the moment when the court of first instance that hears the case on the merits renders the relevant judgment.

(The normative content of Article 205(2) permitting the detention of the accused on a specific criminal case has been declared invalid if after bringing the charges on this case or after revealing sufficient grounds for bringing charges, the total period of time spent by the accused in detention is nine months within the scope of any criminal proceedings instituted against him/her) – Decision of the Constitutional Court of Georgia No 3/2/646 of 15 September 2015 – website, 29.9.2015

3. The term of the detention of the accused before a preliminary hearing shall not exceed 60 days after he/she has been arrested. After this term expires, the accused shall be released from detention, except in the case provided for by Article 208(3) of this Code.

4. Persons accused in the same criminal case shall be placed separately. The administration of the remand prison shall be obliged to take measures to prevent their interaction with each other. By decision of the investigator, the prosecutor or the court, this procedure may also apply to other accused persons.

5. A convicted person may be transferred from a penitentiary institution to a remand prison or be left in a remand prison after a judgment enters into force if this person is a witness, a victim or an accused in another case.

6. If a court is located far from a penitentiary institution and the removal/transfer of the accused is complicated, under a court ruling, during a hearing, the accused may be temporarily placed in the nearest penitentiary institution or a temporary detention isolator where he/she shall be supervised by the Special Penitentiary Service.

Law of Georgia No 3616 of 24 September 2010 – LHG I, No 50, 24.9.2010, Art. 328

Law of Georgia No 560 of 19 April 2013 – website, 10.5.2013

Law of Georgia No 1797 of 13 December 2013 – website, 28.12.2013

Law of Georgia No 3528 of 1 May 2015 – website, 18.5.2015

Decision of the Constitutional Court of Georgia No 3/2/646 of 15 September 2015 – website, 29.9.2015

Law of Georgia No 3126 of 5 July 2018 – website, 11.7.2018

 

Article 206 – Applying, changing and annulling measures of restraint

1. A measure of restraint shall be applied, changed and annulled according to the jurisdiction provided for by Article 20(2) of this Code. The issue of applying a measure of restraint may also be reviewed at a preliminary hearing and during a hearing on the merits, in the manner prescribed by this Code.

2. The prosecutor shall file a motion with the court requesting the application of a measure of restraint not later than 48 hours after the arrest.

3. The judge shall review the motion for a measure of restraint not later than 24 hours after it is filed. The issue of the application, change and annulment of a measure of restraint shall be discussed in open court, except when there are grounds provided for by this Code for closing the session. The judge shall review the motion sitting alone, with the participation of the parties. The judge shall open the court session and announce what motion is to be reviewed, declare the names of the participants in proceedings, and establish whether there are any challenges. The initiator of a motion shall provide reasons for the motion. Then the floor shall be given to the other party, after which, the parties may put questions to each other. Non-appearance of the parties shall not result in the adjournment of the review of a motion.

4. A party may present to the court the documents and information required for examining a motion.

5. A motion shall indicate the identification details of the accused, the essence of the charges, also any information or evidence on which the charges are based, and the measure of restraint requested. After verifying the reasonableness of the motion and the formal (procedural) and factual grounds for applying a measure of restraint, the judge shall render a reasoned ruling. When reviewing a motion for the application of a measure of restraint, the judge may, by providing relevant reasons, reject a measure of restraint indicated in the motion, or select another, less severe measure of restraint, or not use a measure of restraint at all.

6. A ruling on the application, change or annulment of a measure of restraint shall specify: the date and place of drafting the ruling, the names of the judge, the prosecutor, the accused and his/her defence lawyer, the essence of the charges brought, and reference to the application, change or rejection of a measure of restraint. In addition, the ruling shall indicate exactly: the essence of the ruling and the persons to whom it applies; the evidence based on which the judge was convinced of the necessity to apply, change or annul a measure of restraint; the official or the body responsible for executing the ruling; the procedure for appealing the ruling; the signature of the judge.

7. One copy of a ruling on the application, change or annulment of a measure of restraint shall remain with the court and each copy of it shall be handed over to the accused or his/her defence lawyer, the investigator, the prosecutor, the institution enforcing the measure of restraint, while in the case of convicted persons on whom a non-custodial sentence or a conditional sentence have been imposed, one copy of the ruling on the application, change or annulment of detention as a measure of restraint shall be forwarded to the relevant territorial body of the Legal Entity under Public Law operating within the governance of the Ministry of Justice of Georgia – the National Agency for Crime Prevention, Execution of Non-custodial Sentences and Probation (‘the National Agency for Crime Prevention, Execution of Non-custodial Sentences and Probation’).

8. A party may, according to the place of investigation, file a motion with a magistrate judge requesting the change or annulment of a measure of restraint applied against the accused. Within 24 hours after a motion is filed, the magistrate judge shall, without an oral hearing, decide the admissibility of the motion. In particular, the magistrate judge shall decide what new, essential issues have been raised that may indicate the possibility to change or annul the measure of restraint applied. The magistrate judge shall render a ruling on the admissibility of a motion. If a motion is found to be admissible, the court shall hold an oral hearing within the time limits and in accordance with the standards established by this Code.

9. When reviewing the issue of application, change or annulment of a measure of restraint, the burden of proof shall, in any event, be on the prosecutor.

10. A motion requesting detention may also be filed with the court, in the manner provided for by this Code, when the accused has fled. In such a case, after the arrest of the accused, he/she shall be brought before the magistrate judge, according to the place of investigation, not later than 48 hours after the accused is brought to the place of investigation. This term may be extended for not more than 15 days in the case of natural calamities or other force majeure, as well as in the case of a sharp deterioration of the health of the accused, which shall be confirmed by a health certificate, due to which, the accused cannot be presented before the relevant court. The wanted accused, if arrested in a foreign country, shall, within 48 hours after bringing him/her to the place of investigation in Georgia, be presented to the respective court. The judge shall hear the explanations of the parties, after which he/she shall make a decision on the annulment or change of a measure of restraint, or upholding it.

11. The court shall read out the operative part of ruling rendered on the issues provided for by this article. If detention has been applied against the accused as a measure of restraint, the judge shall, orally, briefly inform the parties of the evidence on which that measure is based, and also explain why he/she considers that the purpose of the measure of restraint could not have been achieved with a more lenient measure of restraint.

12. (Deleted – 21.6.2011, No 4868) .

Law of Georgia No 4631 of 5 May 2011 – website, 19.5.2011

Law of Georgia No 4868 of 21 June 2011 – website, 6.7.2011

Law of Georgia No 1473 of 4 October 2013 – website, 16.10.2013

Law of Georgia No 3976 of 8 July 2015 – website, 20.7.2015

Law of Georgia No 665 of 21 April 2017 – website, 10.5.2017

Law of Georgia No 5394 of 29 November 2019 – website, 10.12.2019

 

Article 207 – Procedure for appealing a ruling on the application, change or annulment of a measure of restraint

1. A ruling on the application, change or annulment of a measure of restraint may, within 48 hours after it has been made, be appealed only once by the prosecutor, the accused and/or his/her defence lawyer to the investigation panel of a court of appeal. An appeal shall be filed with the court delivering the ruling, and the court shall immediately forward the appeal and related materials to the relevant court according to the jurisdiction. Appealing a ruling shall not suspend its enforcement.

2. The appeal shall specify the requirements that were violated when delivering the appealed decision, and demonstrate the wrongfulness of the provisions of the appealed decision. An appeal against a measure of restraint may also indicate the essential issues and evidence that were not examined or assessed by the court of first instance in the manner prescribed by this Code, which could have affected the lawfulness of applying the measure of restraint against the person concerned.

3. The parties shall be notified of the day and time of the review of an appeal within a reasonable period.

4. The judge of the investigation panel of a court of appeal shall review an appeal sitting alone, not later than 72 hours after it has been filed, in the manner prescribed by Article 206(3) of this Code. The judge shall, without an oral hearing, decide the admissibility of an appeal against a measure of restraint; in particular, the judge shall decide whether the appeal meets the requirements set by paragraphs 1 and 2 of this article, and also, whether the court of first instance has examined and evaluated the substantial evidence in accordance with this Code, which could have affected the lawfulness of applying the measure of restraint against the person. The judge shall render a reasoned ruling on the admissibility of the appeal.

5. If an appeal is found to be admissible, the judge shall hold an oral hearing within the period and in the manner established by this Code. The judge may, without an oral hearing, review an appeal that does not concern a ruling on a measure of restraint.

6. After reviewing an appeal, copies of the ruling shall be handed over to the parties, shall be forwarded to the court that delivered the appealed decision, and to the body responsible for executing the ruling.

7. A ruling delivered under this article shall be final and may not be appealed.

8. The judge shall read out the operative part of the ruling delivered, and briefly inform the parties of the grounds for the ruling.

Law of Georgia No 3616 of 24 September 2010 – LHG I, No 50, 24.9.2010, Art. 328

Law of Georgia No 5170 of 28 October 2011 – website, 11.11.2011

Law of Georgia No 741 of 14 June 2013 – website, 27.6.2013

Law of Georgia No 3976 of 8 July 2015 – website, 20.7.2015

 

Article 208 – Decision of a magistrate judge on the appointment of a preliminary hearing

1. Unless a plea bargain has been entered into between the parties, the magistrate judge shall, after hearing the opinions of the parties, determine a date of a preliminary hearing.

2. When determining a date of a preliminary hearing, a magistrate judge shall take into consideration the opinion of the parties, the complexity and volume of the case. The judge shall allow parties sufficient time and means to prepare the defence and the accusation.

3. A preliminary hearing shall be held not later than 60 days after a person has been arrested or recognised as the accused (if the person has not been arrested). A party may file a reasoned motion with the court requesting the extension or reduction of the above period by a reasonable period, and it shall notify the other party accordingly. The other party may submit in writing its opinions to the court within 3 days after a motion is filed. After this period expires, the court shall review a motion without an oral hearing. The decision made may not be appealed.

4. If detention has been applied against the accused as a measure of restraint, and if a motion is granted to extend the period for holding the preliminary hearing according to paragraph 3 of this article, not later than 72 hours after the motion is granted, the court shall summon the parties to establish the necessity of leaving the detention in force. When deciding the given issue, the court shall act in accordance with the procedure and standards established by Article 206 of this Code.

Law of Georgia No 3891 of 7 December 2010 – LHG I, No 67, 9.12.2010, Art. 418

Law of Georgia No 3976 of 8 July 2015 – website, 20.7.2015

 

Chapter XXI – Plea Bargain

 

Article 209 – Essence of plea bargaining

1. A plea bargain under which the accused pleads guilty and agrees with the prosecutor to a sentence, to mitigation or to partial removal of charges.

2. When entering into a plea bargain, the accused may, in addition to the terms provided for by paragraph 1 of this article, agree with the prosecutor to collaboration and/or to indemnification of damages.

3. ( Deleted – 24.7.2014, No 2517 ).

4. ( Deleted – 24.7.2014, No 2517 ).

5. ( Deleted – 24.7.2014, No 2517 ).

6. ( Deleted – 24.7.2014, No 2517 ).

7. ( Deleted – 24.7.2014, No 2517 ).

Law of Georgia No 2517 of 24 July 2014 – website, 6.8.2014

 

Article 210 – Entering into a plea bargain

1. A plea bargain shall be entered into with a preliminary written agreement with a superior prosecutor.

11. A plea bargain may be offered either by the accused/convicted person or by the prosecutor. When considering a case, the court shall be authorised to determine whether it is possible for the parties to enter into a plea bargain.

12. When entering into a plea bargain, the prosecutor shall be obliged to warn the accused about the consequences of the plea bargain, and explain to him/her that if a plea bargain is entered into, the court will render a judgment of conviction without direct and oral examination of evidence, and that the plea bargain will not release the accused from civil and other liabilities.

13. In exceptional cases, the General Prosecutor of Georgia or his/her deputy may file a motion with the court requesting full or partial release of the accused from civil liability. In this case, civil liability shall rest with the State.

2. Based on a plea bargain, a prosecutor may request the commutation of the sentence for the accused, or in the case of multiple crimes, make a decision to mitigate or partially remove the charges.

3. When requesting a commutation of a sentence, or when making a decision to mitigate or partially remove the charges against the accused, the prosecutor shall take into account the public interest, which he/she shall determine based on the legal priorities of the State, the crime committed and the gravity of the potential sentence, the nature of the crime, the degree of culpability, public danger posed by the accused, personal characteristics, record of conviction, collaboration with the investigation, and the assessment of the conduct of the accused with respect to the indemnification of damages caused as a result of the crime.

4. A plea bargain may not be entered into without direct involvement of the defence lawyer or without the prior consent of the accused.

5. It is impermissible to enter into a plea bargain that restricts the right of the accused to request the commencement of criminal prosecution against the relevant persons in the case of torture, or inhuman or degrading treatment.

6. A record shall be drawn up on a plea bargain, which shall reflect the process of negotiations between the accused and the prosecutor (a plea bargain record). A copy of the plea bargain record shall be handed over to the accused and to his/her defence lawyer. The accused and his/her defence lawyer may express their remarks on the plea bargain record. The remarks shall be attached to the record. The plea bargain record shall be signed by the prosecutor, the accused and his/her defence lawyer, also by a legal representative (if any) of the accused.

Law of Georgia No 2517 of 24 July 2014 – website, 6.8.2014

Law of Georgia No 3814 of 30 November 2018 – website, 13.12.2018

 

Article 211 – Form of a motion to render a judgment without a hearing on the merits

1. If the prosecutor, the accused and his/her defence lawyer agree to enter into a plea bargain, the prosecutor shall prepare a written motion, which shall include:

a) the name, surname and the day, month and year of birth of the accused;

b) formulation of charges – a description of the incriminated act, indicating the location, time, way, means, instrument of its commission, as well as its consequences;

c) evidence sufficient to render a judgment without a hearing on the merits provided for by Article 111(3) of this Code;

d) in the case of collaboration of the accused with the investigation, the form and content of the collaboration;

e) the article, paragraph and sub-paragraph of the Criminal Code of Georgia that provide for the crime in question;

f) the type and measure of punishment requested by the prosecution;

g) reference to the warning under Article 210(12) of this Code or to a reasoned decision of the General Prosecutor of Georgia or his/her deputy under paragraph 13 of the same article.

2. A motion of the prosecutor requesting the court to render a judgment without a hearing on the merits shall be accompanied by a written application signed by the accused and his/her defence lawyer. The application of the accused shall demonstrate that the accused, after receiving legal aid from his/her defence lawyer, voluntarily agrees to the rendering by the court of a judgment without a hearing on the merits. In addition, the accused shall fully understand the contents of the plea bargain and the legal consequences of the expected judgment; a note to that effect shall be made in the application of the accused.

3. A motion of a prosecutor requesting the court to rendering a judgment without a hearing on the merits shall be signed by the prosecutor, the accused and his/her defence lawyer, as well as by the legal representative (if any) of the accused.

4. ( Deleted – 24.7.2014, No 2517 ).

5. (Deleted – 11.3.2011, No 4430) .

6. A motion of the prosecutor requesting the court to render a judgment without a hearing on the merits and a plea bargain record shall be publicly available, except for the part that contains information provided by the accused to the investigation. The information provided by the accused to the investigation shall be available only to the persons that signed the information and to the court, as well as to the accused person (his/her defence lawyer) about whom another accused person provides incriminating information to the investigation on the basis of a plea bargain. The contents of the above plea bargain shall be made fully available to that accused person (his/her defence lawyer).

7. A plea bargain record shall be attached to the motion of a prosecutor requesting the court to render a judgment without a hearing on the merits.

Law of Georgia No 4430 of 11 March 2011 – website, 22.3.2011

Law of Georgia No 2517 of 24 July 2014 – website, 6.8.2014

Law of Georgia No 3814 of 30 November 2018 – website, 13.12.2018

 

Article 212 – Review of the motion of a prosecutor requesting the court to render a judgment without a hearing on the merits

1. A plea bargain shall be entered into in writing and be approved by the court. A plea bargain shall be reflected in the judgment rendered by the court.

2. The court shall be obliged, before approving a plea bargain, to make sure that:

a) the plea bargain has been entered into without torture, inhuman or degrading treatment or other violence, threat, deception or any unlawful promise;

b) the plea bargain has been entered into voluntarily and the accused voluntarily pleads guilty;

c) the accused is fully aware of the legal consequences of the plea bargain, including the legal consequences of conviction;

d) the accused had the opportunity to receive qualified legal aid;

e) the accused is fully aware of the nature of the crime of which he/she is accused;

f) the accused is fully aware of the sentence foreseen for the crime to which he/she pleads guilty;

g) the accused is aware of all the statutory requirements and plea bargain requirements with respect to a guilty plea;

h) the accused is aware that if the court does not approve the plea bargain, any information provided by him/her to the court during the review of the plea bargain may not be used against him/her in the future;

i) the accused is aware that he/she has the right to:

i.a) defence;

i.b) reject a plea bargain;

i.c) have the case heard on the merits by the court;

j) the accused agrees with the factual grounds of the plea bargain with respect to the guilty plea;

k) the plea bargain contains all the conditions of the agreement reached between the accused and the prosecutor;

l) the accused and his/her defence lawyer are fully familiar with case materials.

3. The judge shall be obliged to inform the accused that a complaint about being subjected to torture, inhuman or degrading treatment filed by the accused will not interfere with the approval of the plea bargain concluded in compliance with the law.

4. ( Deleted – 24.7.2014, No 2517 ).

5. The judge shall deliver a decision on a plea bargain based on law and shall not be obliged to approve the agreement reached between the accused and the prosecutor.

Law of Georgia No 2517 of 24 July 2014 – website, 6.8.2014

 

Article 213 – Court decision to render a judgment without a hearing on the merits

1. A court may, after reviewing a motion to render a judgment without a hearing on the merits, deliver a decision to render a judgment without a hearing on the merits, to return the case to the prosecutor or to hear the case on the merits in accordance with the law.

2. A decision to render a judgment without a hearing on the merits shall be made by the court according to the jurisdiction over the relevant criminal case.

3. A court shall, based on case materials and on the guilty plea of the accused, check whether the charges are reasoned, whether there are circumstances provided for by this Code and whether the sentence indicated in a prosecutor’s motion to render a judgment without a hearing on the merits is lawful and fair.

31. A court shall not approve a plea bargain if it considers that it did not receive convincing answers as to the circumstances provided for by Article 212(2) of this Code.

4. If a court considers that sufficient evidence, as provided for by Article 3(111) of this Code, has been provided to render a judgment without a hearing on the merits, and that it has received convincing answers as to the circumstances provided for by Article 212(2) of this Code, and the sentence requested is lawful and fair, the court shall decide to render a judgment without a hearing on the merits. The above judgment shall be rendered within 15 days after the prosecutor files the relevant motion.

5. If a prosecutor’s motion to render a judgment without a hearing on the merits is reviewed before a preliminary hearing and the court considers that a plea bargain has been entered into as a result of torture, inhuman or degrading treatment or other violence, threats, deception or any other illegal promise, it shall transfer the case to a superior prosecutor. The superior prosecutor shall task another prosecutor with the carrying out of prosecutorial activities.

6. The court may make amendments to a plea bargain only with the consent of the parties.

61. If the court considers that there is insufficient evidence, as provided for by Article 3(111) of this Code, to render a judgment without a hearing on the merits, or establishes that a motion of the prosecutor requesting the rendering of a judgment without a hearing on the merits has been filed in violation of other requirements of this Chapter, it shall return the case to the prosecutor. Before returning the case to the prosecutor, the court, during the review of the motion at a court session, shall offer to the parties to alter the terms of the plea bargain, which shall be agreed with a superior prosecutor. If the court is dissatisfied also with the altered terms of the plea bargain, it shall return the case to the prosecutor.

7. The accused may, any time before the court renders a judgment without a hearing on the merits, reject the plea bargain. That rejection shall not require an approval of the defence lawyer. A plea bargain may not be rejected after a judgment is rendered.

8. The parties may, before a court renders a judgment without a hearing on the merits, alter the terms of the plea bargain.

Law of Georgia No 3891 of 7 December 2010 – LHG I, No 67, 9.12.2010, Art. 418

Law of Georgia No 4631 of 5 May 2011 – website, 19.5.2011

Law of Georgia No 5170 of 28 October 2011 – website, 11.11.2011

Law of Georgia No 2517 of 24 July 2014 – website, 6.8.2014

 

Article 214 – Admissibility of evidence obtained as a result of a plea bargain in the case of annulment of a court judgment on the approval of a plea bargain

If a court annuls a court judgment approving a plea bargain, or the accused himself/herself rejects a plea bargain, the testimony provided by the accused may not be used against the accused.

 

Article 215 – Entry into force and appeal of a court judgment approving a plea bargain

1. A court judgment on cases provided for by this Chapter shall enter into force upon its announcement, and shall be appealed in cases provided for and in the manner prescribed by this article.

2. A party may, within 15 days, appeal the court’s refusal to approve a plea bargain to the court of higher instance.

3. A convicted person may, within 15 days after a judgment provided for by this Chapter has been rendered, file an appeal to a court of higher instance requesting the annulment of a court judgment on the approval of a plea bargain if:

a) the plea bargain has been entered into by coercion, threat, violence, intimidation or deception;

b) the right of defence of the accused has been restricted;

c) the plea bargain has been entered into in such a way as there was insufficient evidence, as provided for by Article 3(111) of this Code, to render a judgment without a hearing on the merits;

d) if the court hearing the case has ignored the substantial requirements provided for by the Criminal Code of Georgia and by this Chapter.

4. If the accused has violated the terms of a plea bargain, the prosecutor may, within a month after the violation has been detected, file an appeal with a court of higher instance requesting annulment of the judgment approving the plea bargain.

5. When a court judgment approving a plea bargain is annulled in cases provided for by paragraphs 3 and 4 of this article, the court shall return the case to the prosecutor.

Law of Georgia No 2517 of 24 July 2014 – website, 6.8.2014

 

Article 216 – Handing over of a judgment

Within three days after a judgment is rendered, the copies of the judgment shall be handed over to the accused, his/her defence lawyer and the prosecutor.

Law of Georgia No 4631 of 5 May 2011 – website, 19.5.2011

 

Article 217 – Rights of a victim in the case of a plea bargain

1. The prosecutor shall, before entering into a plea bargain, consult the victim and notify him/her of the conclusion of the plea bargain, and prepare the relevant record.

11. When the court approves a plea bargain, the victim may provide information to the court in writing, or to the judge, orally, at a court session, on the damage that he/she has sustained as a result of the crime.

2. A victim may not appeal the plea bargain.

3. A plea bargain shall not deprive a victim of the right to file a civil claim.

Law of Georgia No 3616 of 24 September 2010 – LHG I, No 50, 24.9.2010, Art. 328

Law of Georgia No 2517 of 24 July 2014 – website, 6.8.2014

 

Article 218 – Full release of the accused from liability or sentence and revision of a sentence of a person convicted to imprisonment

1. In special cases, when, as a result of collaboration of the accused/convicted person with investigative authorities, the identity of an official who has committed a crime, and/or of a person who has committed a serious or particularly serious crime, is established, and the direct assistance of the accused/convicted person contributes to the creation of essential conditions for solving the crime, the General Prosecutor of Georgia may file a motion with the court requesting full release of the accused from liability or sentence or a revision of the sentence of the convicted person.

2. The grounds for the motion referred to in paragraph 1 of this article shall be a plea bargain on special collaboration entered into between the accused/convicted person and the General Prosecutor of Georgia.

3. When concluding a plea bargain on special collaboration, the General Prosecutor of Georgia shall take into account the public interest, which he/she shall determine based on the assessment of circumstances provided for by Article 210(3) of this Code. The outstanding sentence shall also be taken into account when determining the public interest with regard to the convicted person. A plea bargain on special collaboration shall be concluded only when a crime is solved as a result of this collaboration and the public interest to solve this crime prevails over the interest to hold the person liable, to impose a sentence on him/her or to have the person serve the sentence.

4. A plea bargain on special collaboration shall indicate that if the accused/convicted person does not collaborate with investigative authorities, the agreement shall be considered void in accordance with the terms of the plea bargain.

5. A plea bargain on special collaboration shall be signed by the accused/convicted person, his/her defence lawyer and the General Prosecutor of Georgia.

6. If a motion for a full release of the convicted person from the sentence is granted, the accused shall be considered as previously convicted.

7. If a motion for the revision of a sentence imposed on a convict is granted, the court shall make a respective decision to reduce the term of the sentence, to change the type of the sentence or to fully release the convict.

8. The accused/convicted persons may not be fully released from a sentence for crimes provided for by Articles 144 1 -1443 of the Criminal Code of Georgia, as well as in the case of the commission against minors of crimes provided for by Articles 137, 138, 139, 141, 253-255, 2551 and 2552 of the Criminal Code of Georgia.

9. A motion for the revision of a sentence imposed on the convict shall be reviewed by the court of first instance that has passed that judgment. The court may hear this motion without an oral hearing.

Law of Georgia No 3616 of 24 September 2010 – LHG I, No 50, 24.9.2010, Art. 328

Law of Georgia No 4789 of 17 June 2011 – website, 28.6.2011

Law of Georgia No 2517 of 24 July 2014 – website, 6.8.2014

Law of Georgia No 3814 of 30 November 2018 – website, 13.12.2018

Law of Georgia No 6755 of 13 July 2020 – website, 20.7.2020

 

Section VI

Preliminary Hearings and Hearings on the Merits

 

Chapter XXII – Preliminary Hearing

 

Article 219 – Preliminary hearing

1. If, after the accused is brought before a magistrate judge, the charges have been altered, the judge shall, at the preliminary hearing, inform the accused of the essence of the charges and the measure of punishment envisaged for those charges.

2. At a preliminary hearing the judge shall inquire whether the accused pleads guilty to the charges brought, and to what extent, and about the possibility of entering into a plea bargain. In this case, the provisions regarding a plea bargain provided for by this Code shall be applied.

3. If the accused is charged with the commission of a crime subject to a jury trial, the judge shall be obliged to explain to the accused the provisions of the jury trial and the related rights of the accused. After that, the judge shall find out whether the accused agrees to have the case tried by a jury. If the accused does not reject a jury trial, the judge shall set a date for the jury selection session.

4. A judge of a preliminary hearing shall:

a) review motions of the parties regarding the admissibility of evidence;

b) review motions for the application, change or annulment of a measure of restraint in accordance with the procedure and standard established by Article 206 of this Code. If detention has been imposed on an accused person, the judge shall, on his/her own initiative, review, at the first preliminary hearing, the necessity to leave the detention in force, regardless of whether the party has filed a motion for change or annulment of the detention. After that, the court shall, on its own initiative, review, at least once in two months, the necessity to leave the detention in force;

c) review motions to secure procedural confiscation;

d) review other motions of the parties;

e) decide on referring a case for a hearing on the merits.

5. A case may be referred for a hearing on the merits if a court is convinced that the evidence provided by the prosecutor provides grounds to believe with high probability that the person committed the crime.

6. If the evidence provided by the prosecutor does not provide grounds to believe with high probability that the crime has been committed by that person, the judge of the preliminary hearing shall terminate the criminal prosecution by a ruling. The ruling may be appealed only once to the investigation panel of the court of appeal, within five days after it has been delivered. The judge shall review the appeal with or without an oral hearing. If the investigation panel of the court of appeal annuls the ruling of the judge of the preliminary hearing, it shall return the case to the chairperson of the district (city) court that delivered the appealed decision. The chairperson shall ensure the holding of a preliminary hearing to solve the issues provided for by Article 220 of this Code.

7. The decision of the judge of the preliminary hearing on the recognition of evidence as inadmissible may be appealed only once, within five days, through the court that delivered the decision. The court shall immediately refer the appeal, case materials and the record of the preliminary session to the court of appeal. The judge of the investigation panel of the court of appeal shall, with or without an oral hearing, review the appeal within five days after it has been received.

Law of Georgia No 3090 of 19 February 2015 – website, 6.3.2015

Law of Georgia No 3976 of 8 July 2015 – website, 20.7.2015

 

Article 220 – Preparation for a hearing on the merits

To prepare for a hearing on the merits, the judge of a preliminary hearing shall, with the participation of the parties:

a) determine the date of the commencement of a hearing on the merits;

b) send summons to persons who are to be invited to the hearing on the merits;

c) approve a list of evidence to be provided by the parties, as well as a list of the evidence received from them, which the parties do not contest;

d) inform in writing an accused person, who is not in detention, of the consequences of non-appearance at the hearing on the merits;

e) take any other measures to prepare for a hearing on the merits.

 

Article 221 – Compiling a list of prospective jurors

1. Before a jury selection session, the judge, after hearing the opinions of the parties, shall, by random selection, compile a list of prospective jurors from the unified list of citizens who have attained the age of 18. The list shall include not more than 300 candidates. A randomly chosen ordinal number shall be assigned to each prospective juror. A questionnaire approved, on the basis of consultation with the parties, by the judge shall be sent to the prospective jurors at their home address at least 15 days prior to the jury selection session. A prospective juror shall, within 5 days, return the completed questionnaire to the judge. The judge shall, within 5 days, hand the questionnaire in to the parties. Before the jury selection session, a notice shall be sent to prospective jurors indicating the time and place of the session and the obligation to appear.

2. The Public Service Development Agency shall annually, but not later than 1 July, submit the unified list of citizens who have attained the age of 18 to the relevant court.

3. The court shall be obliged to notify the parties of the place and time of selection of jurors. The parties may attend the jury selection procedure. A party may, only once, within 24 hours, appeal an unlawful decision or action of the presiding judge of the jury selection session. The appeal shall be filed with the chairperson of the court hearing the case. The chairperson shall, without an oral hearing, decide the appeal by a ruling within 24 hours after it has been filed.

4. The list of prospective jurors selected in accordance with paragraph 1 of this article shall indicate the names and surnames of the prospective jurors. The list shall be signed by the presiding judge. Copies of the list of prospective jurors shall be given to the parties.

5. (Deleted – 28.6.2021, No 707).

51. In order to serve questionnaires and summons on prospective jurors and to communicate effectively with them, an authorised person of the relevant district (city) court shall have the right to:

a) request from the Legal Entity under Public Law – the Service Agency of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia, through an electronic service, using the personal number of a prospective juror, the mobile phone number registered to the natural person who owns a vehicle registered in the vehicle registration data and/or to the natural person who holds a driving licence registered in the Driving Licence Register;

b) request in writing, from the electronic databases owned by the Legal Entity under Public Law – the Public Service Development Agency, the mobile phone numbers of prospective jurors referred to in paragraph 1 of this article;

c) request in writing, from the electronic databases owned by the Legal Entity under Public Law – the Public Service Development Agency, the mobile phone numbers of not more than 300 prospective jurors provided for by Article 223(9) of this Code if, after the completion of the procedures provided for by sub-paragraph (b) of this paragraph, all the jurors could not be selected again.

52. In cases provided for by paragraph 51(b) or (c) of this article, the Legal Entity under Public Law – the Public Service Development Agency shall, where possible, provide the relevant district (city) court with information on the mobile phone number of a prospective juror.

6. If there are reasons for challenge determined under Article 30 of this Code, a prospective juror shall, within two days after the receipt of a court notice, inform the court accordingly.

Law of Georgia No 3616 of 24 September 2010 – LHG I, No 50, 24.9.2010, Art. 328

Law of Georgia No 6317 of 25 May 2014 – website, 19.6.2012

Law of Georgia No 5591 of 24 June 2016 – website, 13.7.2016

Law of Georgia No 6735 of 2 July 2020 – website, 7.7.2020

Law of Georgia No 707 of 28 June 2021 – website, 29.6.2021

 

Article 222 – Jury selection session

1. A jury selection session shall be an open session. The presiding judge may make a decision on holding a closed session in cases provided for by Article 182 of this Code. The presiding judge shall open the court session, after which the secretary of the session shall announce the identities of prospective jurors.

2. Even if less than 50 prospective jurors appear before the court, the judge shall be authorised to start the session and the jury selection procedure.

3. The presiding judge shall:

a) introduce himself/herself and the secretary of the session;

b) address the prospective jurors and inform them of the purpose of the summon;

c) announce the case to be heard, and familiarise the prospective jurors with the content of the charges;

d) inform the prospective jurors about the law that will be used during the case hearing;

e) announce the parties to the hearing;

f) determine the duration of the session and other procedural issues.

4. The court shall provide prospective jurors with instructions on the applicable law prepared with the participation of the parties.

Law of Georgia No 5591 of 24 June 2016 – website, 13.7.2016

 

Article 223 – Jurors selection, challenge and self-challenge

1. A party may file a motion to challenge a prospective juror, which may be either reasoned or peremptory. A party shall have the right to file motions on an unlimited number of reasoned challenges and a definite number of peremptory challenges. The parties shall first file motions on reasoned challenges, and then file motions on peremptory challenges. The right to each type of challenge shall be exercised by the parties separately and in turn, first by the prosecution, then by the defence.

2. The judge shall examine all circumstances that may serve as grounds for challenging (self-challenge) of prospective jurors, and allow the parties to put questions to the prospective jurors and submit additional materials in support of the challenge.

3. The judge may request the parties to preliminarily submit to him/her the questions that they are going to put to prospective jurors; this shall not restrict the parties to put clarifying questions. The presiding judge shall determine for the parties and prospective jurors a reasonable period to put and answer questions.

4. A prospective juror shall be obliged to provide correct and comprehensive answers to the questions put to him/her, provide other required information about himself/herself and about his/her relations with the participants in the case to be heard, also about all those circumstances that may prevent the candidate from considering the case in an objective and unbiased manner.

5. The questions put to a prospective juror shall not encroach upon his/her personal data, professional and/or commercial secrets, except when it is required in the interest of justice. A prospective juror may be requested to provide this information only upon a reasoned request of a party. If the disclosure of that information may inflict irreparable damage to the interests of the prospective juror, the prospective juror shall provide information only to the presiding judge and the parties directly.

6. (Deleted – 24.6.2016, No 5591).

7. A prospective juror may file a motion with the judge requesting self-challenge, and indicate the circumstance that will prevent him/her from fulfilling the duties of a juror. A declaration of self-challenge shall be reasoned. The parties may express their opinions regarding the self-challenge of a prospective juror.

8. The judge shall render a reasoned judgment as a result of filing a motion on self-challenge on the part of a prospective juror. The judge shall hear motions for challenge separately, with the participation of the prosecutor and the defence lawyer only, and the persons attending the session shall not leave the courtroom. The challenged prospective juror shall leave the courtroom.

9. If after the first jury selection session all the jury was not selected, the judge shall, for not more than 10 days, adjourn the session and additionally invite not more than 300 prospective jurors, in the manner provided for by this Chapter, to fill the list of the jury up to the number established under this Code.

10. If the charges provide for life imprisonment, each party shall have 10 peremptory challenges. In other cases, a party shall have 6 peremptory challenges.

11. (Deleted – 28.6.2021, No 707).

Law of Georgia No 3616 of 24 September 2010 – LHG I, No 50, 24.9.2010, Art. 328

Law of Georgia No 6328 of 25 May 2012 – website, 12.6.2012

Law of Georgia No 3990 of 10 July 2015 – website, 17.7.2015

Law of Georgia No 5591 of 24 June 2016 – website, 13.7.2016

Law of Georgia No 707 of 28 June 2021 – website, 29.6.2021

 

Article 224 – Appointing prospective jurors as jurors

1. The presiding judge shall appoint as jurors 12 of the prospective jurors remaining after the challenge procedures and 2 prospective jurors shall participate in the case hearing as substitute jurors. Based on the complexity of the case, the judge may decide to approve more substitute jurors. That decision shall be entered in the record of the court session.

2. A substitute juror shall attend the court session but he/she may not express his/her opinion, influence jurors or attend the court deliberation. A substitute juror shall participate in the court deliberation and voting only if he/she has replaced a juror in the case provided for and in the manner prescribed by Article 232(1) of this Code. In such a case, a court deliberation shall start from the beginning.

3. After the completion of the jury selection procedure, the presiding judge shall set a day for case hearing, which shall be not later than the third day after the completion of the selection procedure.

Law of Georgia No 3616 of 24 September 2010 – LHG I, No 50, 24.9.2010, Art. 328

Law of Georgia No 5591 of 24 June 2016 – website, 13.7.2016

 

Chapter XXIII – Hearings on the Merits

 

Article 225 – Time of the commencement of a hearing on the merits

A hearing on the merits (except in cases when the jury participates in the case hearing) shall start not later than 14 days after the completion of a preliminary hearing, unless the court, upon a motion of a party, determines any other period.

Law of Georgia No 5591 of 24 June 2016 – website, 13.7.2016

 

Article 226 – Jury trial

1. The case shall be heard by a jury if the charges are brought under Articles 108 (completed) and 109 (completed), Article 117(2), ( 4), (6) and (8), Article 126(2), Article 1351, Article 143(2-4), Articles 144-1442, Article 1443(2), Article 146(2), Articles 147 and 149, Article 197(4), Article 198(3), and Article 229 of the Criminal Code of Georgia.

2. The accused shall have the right to request that the case be heard without the participation of a jury. In such a case, the case shall be heard by a judge of a district (city) court.

3. The composition of the jury shall ensure its independence and impartiality.

4. If a fair and objective review of a case cannot be ensured, taking into account its intensive coverage by the mass media, or the attitude of the population residing in a specific territory towards the case, the court hearing the case may, based on a motion of a party, with the consent of the Chairperson of the Supreme Court of Georgia, rule to transfer the jury trial to another court provided for by Article 211 of this Code.

Law of Georgia No 5170 of 28 October 2011 – website, 11.11.2011

Law of Georgia No 5591 of 24 June 2016 – website, 13.7.2016

Law of Georgia No 2355 of 17 May 2018 – website, 29.5.2018

 

Article 227 – Presiding judge

The presiding judge shall preside over the hearing on the merits.

 

Article 228 – Appearance of the parties and witnesses

1. The parties shall ensure the appearance of their witnesses before the court.

2. If a party does not intend to interrogate a person in court as a witness, the court may not summon and interrogate that person on its own initiative.

3. The secretary of the court session shall announce to the court the appearance of the parties and witnesses or the reasons for their non-appearance.

4. The presiding judge shall warn the participants in proceedings and persons attending the proceedings about the binding nature of the instructions of the court and the possible measures that may be applied against those who disturb order at the court session.

5. After the verification of appearance, persons who are to be interrogated as witnesses, except for the accused, shall leave the courtroom. The presiding judge may order that the above persons be taken to the room designated for them, and shall take measures to prevent their communication with each other before their examination.

 

Article 229 – Announcement of the composition of the court. Making decisions on the exclusion of participants in proceedings from the case and on challenges filed against participants in proceedings

1. The presiding judge shall announce the composition of the court, as well as the names of persons who support the charges and of the persons who defend, and ask the parties whether they have any grounds for challenging the judge, the prosecutor, the defence lawyer, the secretary of the session, the interpreter or other participants in the proceedings.

2. The presiding judge shall inform the parties that they have the right to challenge individual judges as well as the entire composition of the court.

3. The presiding judge shall inform the participants in proceedings of their rights and obligations.

 

Article 230 – Establishing the identity of the accused by the presiding judge and informing the accused of his/her rights

1. The presiding judge shall establish the identity (name, surname, year, month, day of birth and birth place) of the accused and inform him/her about his/her rights, the content of the charges, the qualification of the incriminated act, the minimum and maximum sentences provided for by the Criminal Code of Georgia, taking into account mitigating and aggravating circumstances. The presiding judge shall also inform the accused that it is his/her right to testify regarding the charges as a witness. If there are several accused persons in the case, such explanation shall be given to each of them.

2. The presiding judge shall inquire whether the accused pleads guilty, and if he/she does, to what extent. It shall be explained to the accused that he/she is not bound by his/her plea of guilty or not guilty, also that he/she is not obliged to answer questions posed, and that his/her exercise of the right to silence cannot be used against him/her.

3. The presiding judge shall inquire about the possibility of entering into a plea bargain. In this case, the provisions on a plea bargain provided for by this Code shall be applied.

 

Article 2301 – Deciding an issue of detention applied as a measure of restraint during a hearing on the merits

1. If detention has been applied against the accused as a measure of restraint, before delivering the judgment, periodically, at least once in two months, the presiding judge shall, on his/her own initiative, review the necessity of leaving the accused in detention. This two-month period shall start from the day when the judge of a preliminary hearing makes a decision to leave the detention in force. When deciding the issue provided for by this paragraph the court shall be guided by the procedure and standard established by Article 206 of this Code.

2. The procedure established by paragraph 1 of this article shall also apply if the period for starting a hearing on the merits specified by Article 225 of this Code and upon motion of a party, exceeds two months.

Law of Georgia No 3976 of 8 July 2015 – website, 20.7.2015

 

Article 231 – Instructions provided by the presiding judge to the jury

1. Upon the opening of a court session and before retiring to the deliberation room, the presiding judge shall instruct the jury on the applicable law. The instructions of the presiding judge may not contradict the Constitution of Georgia, this Code and other normative acts of Georgia. Those instructions shall be given to the jurors in writing as well.

2. Those instructions shall be given in writing to the parties a reasonable time in advance. They may file a motion with the presiding judge for making amendments and additions to the instructions. If the parties do not exercise that right before the jury retires to the deliberation room, the fairness and lawfulness of the instructions of the presiding judge may not serve as grounds for a cassation appeal.

3. The presiding judge may, before the jury retires to the deliberation room, briefly inform the jurors of the procedure for assessing all pieces of evidence discussed at the session. The presiding judge shall provide such information in the manner prescribed by paragraph 2 of this article. When instructing the jury, the presiding judge may not express, in any way, his/her personal opinion on the issues to be decided by the jury.

4. The presiding judge shall inform the jurors:

a) of the contents of the charges and their legal grounds;

a1) of the necessity of confirming that the accused committed the act incriminated to him/her, including proving the presence of each element of objective corpus delicti of the act; the essence and meaning of intent and negligence; circumstances excluding unlawfulness and/or guilt;

b) of the general procedure for evaluating evidence;

c) of the concept of presumption of innocence, and of the condition that any reasonable doubt is to be resolved in favour of the accused, as well as the meaning of the standards of reasonable doubt;

d) that a verdict of guilty shall be based on the law on which they were instructed by the presiding judge and on the sum of evidence excluding reasonable doubt, examined during the court hearing;

e) that during a session, the jurors may make and use notes;

f) that the verdict shall be based only on the evidence examined during the trial; that no evidence shall be taken into account upon the instructions of another person; that the verdict shall not be delivered based on assumptions or inadmissible evidence;

g) the procedure for delivering a verdict on each charges brought;

h) that at first, a verdict of not guilty on all charges brought shall be voted on. If the verdict cannot be delivered, a verdict of guilty shall be voted on in the ascending order of the gravity of the charges;

i) that they must sign only one of the forms of verdict presented for each charge – not guilty or guilty verdict form.

5. The presiding judge shall finish his/her instructions by reminding the jurors that they have taken an oath.

6. After hearing the instructions of the presiding judge, the jurors may put questions in writing to the presiding judge. Additional instructions shall be provided in the manner prescribed by paragraph 1 of this article.

7. The presiding judge shall, on the grounds of a motion of a party, explain to the jurors that the accused may have committed a relatively less serious crime, the elements of corpus delicti of which are included in the crime specified by the charges brought. In this case, a guilty verdict form shall be additionally presented to jurors in accordance with paragraph 4(i) of this article, and the judge shall explain to them what the common features are and what the difference between the crime specified by the charges brought and another, relatively less serious crime, is.

Law of Georgia No 5591 of 24 June 2016 – website, 13.7.2016

 

Article 232 – Replacing a juror with a substitute juror

1. If, during a court hearing it appears that a juror is not able to fulfil his/her duty, or grounds for his/her challenge have been revealed, or a juror has violated the requirements of this Code, the presiding judge shall release that juror from his/her duty and replace him/her with the substitute juror next in the list of jurors.

2. If the number of jurors is less than the number determined under this Code, the presiding judge shall start a new selection of jurors, and the case hearing shall start from the beginning, in the manner prescribed by this Code.

 

Article 233 – Jury foreperson

1. The presiding judge shall appoint a jury foreperson from among the panel of jurors by drawing lots.

2. A jury foreperson shall preside over the deliberations of the jury, apply in writing on behalf of that jury to the presiding judge with questions, sum up the results of voting, draft relevant documents, sign the verdict and announce it at the court session.

3. If the jury foreperson is dismissed, the jury shall elect a new jury foreperson from among its panel by drawing lots.

 

Article 234 – Taking an oath by jurors and substitute jurors

1. After the appointment (election) of the jury foreperson, the jurors shall take an oath. The presiding judge shall read out the text of the oath: ‘I swear to fulfil the duty of a juror honestly and impartially, take into consideration all lawful evidence, make a decision based on my inner belief as befits a fair person!’.

2. After reading out the text of the oath, in the order as they appear on the list of jurors, every juror shall say: ‘I Affirm!’.

3. Substitute jurors shall take an oath in the same manner.

4. The procedure for taking an oath shall be included in the record of the court session.

5. Jurors shall stand when taking an oath.

6. After the jurors take an oath, the presiding judge shall inform them of their rights and obligations.

 

Article 235 – Rights of jurors

1. A juror may, in response to his/her written application, receive:

a) instructions of the court on the law to be applied;

b) preliminary information on the circumstances of the case and on the evidence subject to examination;

c) additional clarifications during a court session: from the presiding judge – on the applicable law, from a witness – on factual circumstances, from a party – on their closing arguments;

d) an additional clarification from the judge on the applicable law during the jury deliberations.

2. The judge shall inform the jurors of their right to make notes during a session. Before retiring to the deliberation room, the jurors shall be given the record of the court session, except for the parts which concern inadmissible evidence.

 

Article 236 – Duties of jurors (substitute jurors, prospective jurors)

1. Juror