The use of rubber bullets by riot police dispersing demonstrators on November 7 was illegal and those who authorized it should be punished, Sozar Subari, the Georgian Public Defender, said in a letter sent to acting President Nino Burjanadze on December 17.
The Public Defender cites the Law on Police, which lists special equipment available to riot police. The list includes tear gas, water cannons and rubber batons, but not rubber bullets.
“So we're not just talking about the responsibility of individual riot policemen, but that of the Interior Ministry officials who purchased the rubber bullets and ordered their use - they should face criminal charges,” the Public Defender stated.
Pavle Kublashvili, a ruling party lawmaker, however, dismissed the comments as “extraneous.”
“The law can not provide a detailed list of equipment that may be used. Rubber bullets are used in any civilized country,” Kublashvili told Civil.Ge on December 18.