For the last two years Keti has been fighting to return to her job after she was fired in very dubious circumstances. Keti is a former beneficiary of Mkurnali, a Tbilisi charity that helps vulnerable young people. Once again, she turned to them and their legal programme, which is funded by St Gregory’s Foundation.
Keti left school at 14 and had always wanted to continue her studies. Mkurnali helped her enrol in college to study HR Management. They helped her find an internship in the municipal authorities. They also helped her continue her studies while working. Keti worked hard and found a good job straight after graduating. She soon progressed to a prestigious role within the same local authority.
In early 2020, the leadership of the municipality changed. The new boss asked Keti to resign from the position and promised to transfer her to another one. The reason was that he wanted Keti’s position for his relative, and to justify himself, he said he could not trust a stranger in that position. Keti refused to resign. After that, they started harassing her and arguing with her on every issue. Eventually auditors examined Keti’s work over the years, revealing several violations that led to her being fired. Keti said it was all fabricated and that she had not done anything illegal during her tenure.
It was difficult for Keti to find a lawyer willing to defend her against a state institution. Fortunately, Mkurnali were able to step in. They examined the audit and supporting documents and found that Keti’s allegations were true. The initial court case overturned Keti’s dismissal and referred the case back to the auditors for reconsideration.
Mkurnali appealed to a higher court. At last Keti’s former boss agreed to testify. After deeper examination of the case, the court concluded that Keti was not guilty, and that the conclusion of the audit was based on fabricated facts, was biased and lacked any legal basis.
According to the court decision, Keti was reinstated in the job and the municipality was ordered to reimburse her for loss of earnings, which was a considerable sum (from January 2020 to April 2022).
Once again, Mkurnali have been able to provide a legal defense for someone who would otherwise have been undefended. Since the start of the year, Mkurnali’s lawyer has defended 15 cases in which 7 defendants have been totally acquitted. All have avoided the long prison sentences that are frequently handed out to vulnerable young people.
You can help Mkurnali keep more young people out of prison and off the streets today. Your donations can give them the support they need to get through these difficult times.