About Civil.ge
Eng | Geo | Rus
Last updated: 17:06 - 28 Nov.'15
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
28 Nov.'15 17:06
2015 State Budget Revise
This year’s state budget was revised for the second time in past four months.
28 Nov.'15 13:55
Deputy Chief of Security Agency Says About 50 Georgians Fight in Syria
They are subject of criminal prosecution in Georgia, Deputy Head of State Security Service said.
27 Nov.'15 20:51
Georgian, German Defense Ministers Meet in Berlin
In Berlin Khidasheli also met Chancellor Merkel’s foreign and security policy adviser Christoph Heusgen.
27 Nov.'15 17:48
Parliament Confirms New Chief Prosecutor
Irakli Shotadze, 32, became new chief prosecutor for a six-year term.
27 Nov.'15 15:41
EUR 100m EU Assistance Package for Georgia
New assistance package aims at supporting reforms related to the EU-Georgia Association Agreement.
26 Nov.'15 23:49
Informal Eastern Partnership Ministerial Meeting Held in Tbilisi
Ministers and senior officials from the foreign and healthcare ministries of EaP countries met in Tbilisi.
26 Nov.'15 23:13
Italy Ratifies EU-Georgia Association Agreement
Italy became the 27th EU-member state to ratify the treaty with Georgia.
26 Nov.'15 17:55
European Parliament Debates on Georgia
About two dozen MEPs spoke during hour-long debates in Strasbourg on November 25.
26 Nov.'15 14:50
Georgia’s Interior Minister Meets Azerbaijani President in Baku
Mgebrishvili met Aliyev in Baku on November 26.
25 Nov.'15 19:15
Sokhumi Condemns Turkey’s Downing of Russian Warplane
Both the Abkhaz leader and opposition bloc in the breakaway region released statements on the issue.

About Civil Georgia
Civil.Ge © 2001-2015, Daily News Online
Registered office: 2 Dolidze Str, 4-th Floor.