This is why we have exchange programs! Following a trip to the United States to learn more about evidence management, representatives from the Prosecution Service of Georgia built a modern evidence storage facility. This will improve the chain of custody of evidence in criminal cases according to international standards, bolstering public trust in the justice system.
Ambassador Kelly Degnan’s Remarks to Media at the Opening of Georgia’s First Criminal Evidence Storage Facility
Ambassador Kelly Degnan: It is really an honor for me to be here for the opening of this new Criminal Evidence Storage Facility. As a lawyer myself, I understand the importance of maintaining the integrity of criminal evidence during an investigation and during the trial preparation process. So this fills an important need and really, as you were pointing out, a gap in your judiciary system here, by ensuring that your evidence is going to be secured and well-protected, so citizens can have confidence in the outcome of these investigations. The fact that you dedicated resources, I know the resources are limited, but the fact that you dedicated resources to building this facility is a really good sign of your professionalism and your commitment to maintaining the chain of custody and the integrity of the evidence, but also, that commitment to ensuring that the public has confidence in the outcome of these investigations. [There can be] no credible allegations of tampering with evidence when you have got this clear proof of your commitment.
I am especially pleased that it is at least one outcome from visiting the United States, and the opportunity to exchange best practices and lessons learned and everybody benefits from that, and we in the United States, always get a lot out of our exchange programs because we hear from you and often times, we see something like this which is a concrete outcome of that kind of exchange. So, again, I think all of this helps build confidence in the professionalism of police officers, prosecutors, judges, [and] others in the judicial system. In the end, we are always working to improve our judicial systems, we are always looking to do those reforms and improvements that are necessary for any democratic process, which is almost inevitable in any democratic process. This, I think, is a wonderful example of why that is so important. So, let me thank you very much for letting me join you on this tour of the new facility, for the exciting opening, that was more exciting than I expected, [laughter] but it is a really important step here to have this facility in place, and again, as I said, a sign of your commitment and your professionalism to ensure the chain of custody. So, congratulations, thank you very much [in Georgian] and I am very happy to be with you here today. Thank you, all of you!