DRI: The authorities’ response to the case of Otar Partskhaladze is incompatible with the principle of the rule of law
The authorities’ late response to the citizenship termination procedures relating to former Prosecutor General of Georgia Otar Partskhaladze only after the start of public protest once again proves the large-scale influence of Partskhaladze on the state institutions of Georgia, which is incompatible with the fundamental principle of the rule of law.

After the issue of Otar Patskhaladze’s dual citizenship became problematic following the imposition of sanctions on him, the Georgian authorities claimed that they did not have information about Patskhaladze's Russian citizenship. According to Article 21 of the Law of Georgia on Georgian Citizenship, acquiring the citizenship of another country shall become the basis for losing Georgian citizenship. According to Article 23 of the same law, " Upon identifying the grounds for the loss of Georgian citizenship, state authorities shall submit a request to the Agency on the loss of citizenship."

Only on September 20, after public protest, the Ministry of Justice announced that proceedings had been initiated in the Public Service Development Agency regarding the loss of Georgian citizenship of Otar Partskhaladze. On the same day, the Ministry sent the relevant legal document relating to the termination of citizenship to the President of Georgia.

The Democracy Research Institute considers that the authorities’ response was late. The fact that the state agencies learned about the acquisition of Russian citizenship by Partskhaladze only on September 20, after the relevant information was spread by the media, is unlikely and indicates the actions of state authorities outside the legal framework. There is a well-founded suspicion that for some time the state bodies did not use their authority to start procedures for terminating Otar Partskhaladze’s Georgian citizenship.

It is significant that by terminating Partskhaladze’s citizenship in accordance with the procedure established by the Georgian legislation, Order No. 253/04 of the President of the National Bank of Georgia no longer applies to him and the obstacle to the enforcement of international sanctions against him has been removed. However, on September 20, Otar Partskhaladze managed to transfer part of his real estate to his son.

Currently, the exceptional rule approved by the acting President of the National Bank is still valid and in the future this rule may be used to hinder the enforcement of sanctions against other sanctioned Georgian citizens, which will pose a threat to the country's economic stability.

Therefore, it is vital to return the actions of the state authorities to the constitutional framework, to revoke the exceptional rule of the President of the National Bank and to fully enforce the international sanctions, which is in line with the national interests of Georgia and the country’s declared foreign policy course.