The head of the State Audit Office of Georgia was attacked on May 12th at the El Centro nightclub on Shardeni Street in central Tbilisi. Lasha Tordia remains in hospital following a concussion.
Tordia says he was attacked by former Chief Prosecutor Otar Partskhaladze, in an interview with Rustavi 2 TV. He believes the assault was based on personal revenge related to his professional work. The State Audit Office is preparing a case surrounding the activities of former Chief Prosecutor Partskhaladze during his time in office in late 2013, related to the fraudulent acquisition of lands.
According to Tordia, another three to four persons were involved in the attack on him. The Ministry of Internal Affairs has launched an investigation under Article 126 of the Criminal Code that implies use of violence.
Following the attack, 10 major NGOs in Georgia have expressed concern regarding the attack on Tordia, including Transparency International Georgia, Human Rights Education and Monitoring Center, Georgian Young Lawyers' Association, Institute for Development of Freedom of Information, and the International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy. The NGOs say that the violent attack committed against the head of the State Audit Office, which is a constitutional body, and allegedly connected to the professional activities of this body, cannot be treated as a casual beating or casual violence. The NGOs have called on the bodies responsible for the investigation to release information about the results thus so far, and have also called for the creation of a temporary investigative commission to guarantee a timely and unbiased investigation in the case.
The opposition party Movement for Freedom - European Georgia has also demanded the establishment of an investigative commission in parliament. Parliamentary chairman Irakli Kobakhidze said that: "We can definitely consider this proposal, as the State Audit Office is closely linked to the Parliament of Georgia.”