EU said on Wednesday that it would follow closely legal proceedings against former PM and UNM secretary general Vano Merabishvili and former healthcare minister and governor of Kakheti region Zurab Tchiaberashvili, who were arrested on May 21.
A statement by spokesperson of EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton and Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle says that the EU expects these legal proceedings to be fair and independent.
“High Representative Catherine Ashton and Commissioner Štefan Füle take careful note of the arrests and detention yesterday” of Merabishvili and Tchiaberashvili, the statement reads.
“The European Union will closely follow the legal proceedings against them, which it expects to be fair, transparent and independent, in full accordance with international standards.”
“The High Representative and the Commissioner underline their expectation that the Georgian authorities will pursue justice in these cases, as in all other cases, impartially and free from political motivation,” the statement says.
PM Bidzina Ivanishvili has welcomed the EU’s statement.
In a written statement PM Ivanishvili said: “Interest and attention of high ranking EU representatives towards developments in Georgia is important for us. I am sure that the state agencies will use all the means at their disposal in order for the proceedings into all the cases to be carried out in full accordance with international standards and procedures established by the Georgian legislation.”
“We rule out political aspects to have any influence whatsoever on the ongoing legal proceedings. I want to once again welcome special interest shown by the international community and the EU. I believe that your such attention will only help the Georgian government to carry out proceedings in due process and fairly,” PM’s statement reads.