Several agencies investigate corruption-related crimes in Georgia. The Democracy Research Institute examined the statistics on the launch of investigations into the cases of corruption by the Investigation Division of the Prosecutor General’s Office and the State Security Service of Georgia (two leading anti-corruption agencies).
The analysis made it clear that the number of corruption-related cases investigated by the Prosecutor General's Office far exceeds the number of cases investigated by the Anti-Corruption Agency of the State Security Service. For example, in 2020, the Prosecutor General's Office of Georgia launched investigations into 169 criminal cases relating to corruption.
For comparison, in the same period, the Anti-Corruption Agency launched investigations into 66 criminal cases. The difference was even more obvious in previous years: in 2017 - the Anti-Corruption Agency - 62 cases, the Prosecutor General's Office – 474 cases; In 2018, the Anti-Corruption Agency - 71 cases, the Prosecutor's Office - 638 cases; In 2019, the Anti-Corruption Agency - 91 cases, the Prosecutor's Office - 655 cases.
Against this background, the funds allocated from the budget for the State Security Service of Georgia are about three times more than the funds allocated for the Prosecutor's Office.
As for the departments of the State Security Service, most criminal cases are investigated by the Anti-Corruption Agency.
Consequently, it turns out that the number of cases investigated by the Anti-Corruption Agency (Department) of the State Security Service is significantly lower than the number of corruption-related cases investigated by the Prosecutor's Office that has three times less funding.
During 2018-2021, the Prosecutor's Office of Georgia received 106 audit reports from the State Audit Office. Based on this, investigations were launched into 91 criminal cases. Out of this, 73 cases were investigated by the Prosecutor's Office of Georgia, 17 cases by the Investigation Service of the Ministry of Finance and only one case by the Anti-Corruption Agency.
Within the framework of the mentioned cases, the Prosecutor's Office of Georgia launched criminal proceedings against 50 persons. 23 of them were public servants, including a mayor, vice-mayor, municipal governor and deputy governor, heads of the municipal service, etc.
Similarly, the 2018-2020 reports of the State Security Service indicate that a number of public officials were arrested for taking bribes, including: a representative of the city hall, first deputy mayor, city council member and city council chairperson.
In summary, it should be noted that the State Security Service, in spite of enjoying a funding three times as much as the funding of the Prosecutor's Office, investigates a very small number of cases compared to the Investigation Division of the Prosecutor General’s Office. In addition, the cases investigated by the State Security Service and the Prosecutor's Office are identical in terms of public danger and quality indicators, which raises a question: What are the criteria for subjecting a corruption crime to the investigative jurisdiction of the State Security Service? Or what is the justification for similar functioning of the Anti-Corruption Agency?
The Prosecutor General's Office of Georgia started producing statistics on investigation of corruption crimes and launch/termination of prosecution, as well as final decisions made by courts, only in 2020. When establishing the statistics on investigations into corruption cases of the past years, the DRI was guided by the following principle: The Anti-Corruption Agency of the State Security Service, as a rule, launches investigations into crimes covered by the following articles of the Criminal Code - 1641
, 180; 182, 194, 220, 221, 332, 333, 337, 338, 339, 339, 340, 341, 355. Accordingly, in order to determine the number of corruption cases investigated by the Prosecutor's Office of Georgia in 2017-2019, we counted the number of investigations launched on the basis of the above articles.
Information on the response to the reports received from the State Audit Office in 2018-2021, p. 21, 2021, available: https://bit.ly/36qU9w8
(Last accessed: 08.07.2021)