About Civil.ge
Eng | Geo | Rus
Last updated: 21:28 - 27 Jan.'15
 
RSS
Mobile
Twitter
Facebook
U.S. 'Follows Closely' Legal Proceedings Against Georgia’s Ex-PM
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 23 May.'13 / 04:38

The U.S. follows closely legal proceedings against former officials and stressed to the Georgian government the importance of “avoiding the perception or reality of political retribution,” Patrick Ventrell, acting deputy spokesperson of the Department of State said on May 22.

He made the remarks at a news briefing after he was asked by Georgian channel Rustavi 2 TV’s correspondent about the arrest of former PM Vano Merabishvili and former healthcare minister Zurab Tchiaberashvili. Court ordered pretrial detention of Merabishvili and release of Tchiaberashvili on GEL 20,000 bail pending the trial.

“We are closely following the cases of detentions and investigations of alleged abuse by former officials. We have stressed to the Georgian Government the importance of conducting such investigations and prosecutions with full respect for due process and avoiding the perception or reality of political retribution. The United States encourages all political actors to continue to work together constructively toward the shared goal of advancing Georgia’s democratic and economic development and Euro-Atlantic integration,” Department of State’s acting deputy spokesperson said.

In follow up to this topic he was then pressed with series of questions from AP correspondent, who tried to get an answer on whether the U.S. calls for “avoiding the perception or reality of political retribution” meant that Washington was actually “concerned” that there might be political motives behind the arrests.

Asked if the U.S. believed there was either a perception or a reality of political prosecutions, Ventrell responded that the Department of State had not made an assessment one way or another on this particular case, involving the arrest of ex-PM and ex-healthcare minister. “We don’t have a particular determination one way or another in this case,” he said. 

After being questioned for number of times if the U.S had a concern that the case might be politically motivated, Ventrell responded that he would not go into “hypothetical” discussion of what might or might not be and in what direction the process might go.

“But you did that in Ukraine,” the AP correspondent told the acting deputy spokesperson, apparently referring to the case of imprisoned former PM Yulia Tymoshenko.

“That’s where we have a very clear pattern,” Ventrell responded referring to the Ukrainian case and added by saying on Georgia’s case: “Here is one where we’re watching.”

When the same correspondent suggested that call for the Georgian authorities to avoid perception or reality of political prosecutions was indicating on the U.S. having concerns that there might be political motives behind the case, Ventrell responded: “That’s not what I said.”

“What we’re reminding the Georgian authorities is that if you’re going after former officials, whether there’s misconduct or misappropriation of funds or whatever the facts of the case may be, that the proceedings have to be done in a way that generates confidence that they’re a free, fair judicial process and that they’re done in a way that the public has confidence that there’s due process for everybody, fairly. So that’s the message that we’re delivering,” Ventrell added.

Latest News
27 Jan.'15 21:28
PM, Govt Economic Team, Central Bank Chief Meet as GEL Continues to Fall
GEL depreciated further against U.S. dollar, falling to its lowest level in almost 11 years.
27 Jan.'15 13:45
Georgia to Host 2017 UEFA European U19 Championship
The final tournament will be played at stadiums in Tbilisi, Rustavi, Gori and Mtskheta.
27 Jan.'15 12:58
Police Say Over 6kg Cocaine Seized
Three Bulgarian citizens arrested for allegedly trying to smuggle drugs into Georgia from Armenia.
26 Jan.'15 19:59
Human Rights, Media Groups Slam Bill Criminalizing ‘Strife-Inciting Calls’
The bill is fraught with “risk of unreasonably restricting freedom of expression,” dozens of groups say.
26 Jan.'15 16:54
President Meets Outgoing Supreme Court Chair, Justice Council Members
The meeting was part of President’s ongoing consultations for new Supreme Court chair.
26 Jan.'15 14:25
New Interior Minister Appointed
Gomelauri, who served as deputy interior minister since spring 2013, takes the post.
26 Jan.'15 00:16
Lithuanian PM Visits Georgia
PM Butkevičius will meet the Georgian leadership during an official visit on January 25-27.
25 Jan.'15 18:24
Georgian Parliament Speaker Holds Talks in Iran
President Rouhani has called for boosting bilateral ties, including in energy and transport sectors.
25 Jan.'15 01:12
Georgian MFA Expresses ‘Extreme Concern’ over Mariupol Shelling in Ukraine
“The rise in civilian casualties… is especially alarming,” the Georgian Foreign Ministry said.
24 Jan.'15 16:47
Bill Offers to Criminalize ‘Strife-Inciting Calls’
The bill is causing controversy with rights groups fearing its consequences on freedom of expression.

About Civil Georgia
Civil.Ge © 2001-2013, Daily News Online
Registered office: 2 Dolidze Str, 4-th Floor.
53