Address by President Saakashvili at the judges’ oath taking ceremony

Welcome, everybody!

Today, the judges will be taking an oath which is an important event for all of us.

Today we can also talk about existing problems in the judiciary.

The whole Georgia can be proud of those judges we have in Georgia today.

Corruption is the most unacceptable thing for the public and the most unforgivable for the judges and civil servants.

We should remember the country we were living in before and the country we are living now.

Three years ago European Bank of Reconstruction and Development conducted public opinion poll in all the European countries. Based on the research Georgia in terms of corruption was the third among 50 European countries. That time Kyrgyzstan and Albania were much more corrupt counties.

Nowadays, Georgia, based on the data of European Bank of Reconstruction and Development, exceeds France, Scandinavian countries and Germany in terms of corruption.

We achieved this with a heavy hand, transparency and decency. Nothing can be achieved only with talks and patting. We achieved this by means of strict actions and proper system that we have created.

The main objective is that the judge did not unfairly punish and oppress anyone and to avoid sending innocent people to prison.

It is our principle not to have cases of torture and beating up and we have taught how to open cases without using such methods.

We should acknowledge that level of crime is still high in our society. Our friends and relatives are bitten up, robbed of their purses and valuables on daily bases.

As soon as we came into power the police force imprisoned some of the convicts, however the court let them free exactly in a year.

The reason we are here is to state that law does exist in Georgia. Rule of law means protecting public's interest. I myself am not going to stop working on these issues.

What is clear is that we should root out so called institute of thieves in Georgia.

Now we are starting a process based on which property of the "thieves in law" will be confiscated, sold and handed over to the Prosecutor's Office and place there courts or nursery schools.

We are going to repair ten court buildings, however some thieves' house is so luxurious that we will never be able to build similar courts.

Thieves also have cars that we will use for either convoy or for something else.

I am glad that the house of a former chief of the chamber of control is now old people's home and the owner of this house is in prison. Those people whom he and people like him robbed are now living in his house.

We will do the same thing in relation with thieves.

Five years ago there were ringleaders in every district of Tbilisi who had all the reigns and were spread in the whole society.

We have submitted to the Parliament a law which envisages zero tolerance for petty crimes and that irritated some of our opponents.

People should be sent to prison for every petty crime, however the penalty of the juvenile delinquents and those who will cooperate with the investigation might be mitigated. All the others must serve their sentence and we will abolish all types of probation sentences.

We are building new prisons.

A lawyer must not do "good" or take "mercy" on the expense of the public. Law demands it.

Such precedents also happen in the court: a lawyer let a drug dealer go home on the ground that the prisoner's grandmother was ill. The second incident was that the lawyer let a suspect in burglary go home on the ground that his mother-in-law was ill. The third incident was about a lawyer who let free a suspect in burglary for not betraying his accomplice.

Does unveiling these facts mean influencing the court or telling a truth? We will continue fighting for this truth.

We arrested 14 judges for taking a bribe. This incident was covered by the television . . .

There should never be such cases.

When a criminal is caught in the district people see that the culprits are being punished, however when after a month that person turns up in the street people's conviction on equity disappears.

Normally, after that, people absolutely have no desire to cooperate with the investigation

According to the new law, probation sentence will abolished and all culprits will go straight to prison, except when it is necessary for the investigation to get information from the person which will help open big and serious cases as it happened in Levan Kaladze's murder case.

This issue is of great importance, the operation was performed at an international level.

We are going to create all the conditions for the judges. This year judges' salaries increased several times. Policemen's salary will also increase.

Building of a Public Prosecutor and all the buildings of the police force have been repaired and meet European standards. It was beyond our dreams in the last years.

This year we will also repair the courts.

We give special protection guarantees to every judge and law-enforcement. In case of necessity we will give them special guards.

Policemen have been instructed to use weapon in accordance with the law. A policeman can wait when somebody will shoot at him.

When detaining Arutinian a policeman scarified his life. Life of one policeman costs much more than the whole criminal world.

We started using weapon in several cases as it is in America, Europe, Israel and in every developed country.

We are not going to be pleasant with the parasites of the society.

In a democratic society people are protected, law rules and a convict does not blackmail anyone from the prison cell or by television.

Exemplary judges are starting to appear in out society. Fair judge, strong policeman, qualified doctor and a successful businessman, rather than a criminal must be exemplary in our society.

This is an intelligent society. They are successful in every sphere, especially in judicial sphere, and they will achieve everything.

Communications Office
of the President of Georgia

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