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Usupashvili Rules Out Politically Motivated Prosecutions
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 6 Nov.'13 / 16:30

Parliament speaker Davit Usupashvili said on November 6 that there will be no politically motivated prosecution of either outgoing president Saakashvili or anyone else in Georgia.

Asked during a press conference after meeting with his Lithuanian counterpart, Loreta Graužinienė, in Vilnius on November 6 about concerns in the EU over possible criminal proceedings against President Saakashvili after his term in office expires, Usupashvili responded: “I want to calm everyone down – if there are any who are worried about it – that constitution and the law will be observed in respect of everyone in Georgia and politically motivated prosecution is and will be ruled out in Georgia.”

In an interview with RFE/RL, Swedish Foreign Minister, Carl Bildt, warned Georgia against possible criminal proceedings against Saakashvili.

Asked if he was worried about PM Ivanishvili’s remarks over possibility of a criminal case against Georgia’s outgoing president and if he thought that Saakashvili “might become a ‘new Tymoshenko’,” the Swedish Foreign Minister responded:  “I think that it might even be worse in that particular case and we have said it very clearly to Mr. Ivanishvili that if he goes forward with those things, then Georgian foreign policy will be reduced to one issue for the next few years to come, to the detriment of the development of the country.”

Bildt said that when he visited Georgia together with his Polish counterpart Radosław Sikorski on October 23 PM Ivanishvili speaking at a joint news conference said “some wise things.” The Swedish Foreign Minister was apparently referring to Ivanishvili’s remarks that by “thinking only about punishment” and “looking in the past” Georgia will lose the pace of development and European integration and Georgia “should look in the future.”

The Swedish Foreign Minister, however, also added: “I have seen that since then he [Ivanishvili] has said some things that could be interpreted in the other direction.”

Meanwhile in Tbilisi, a preliminary court hearing started on November 6 into charges against former interior minister and ex-PM Vano Merabishvili, who remains in pre-trial detention and who says that he is being prosecuted for political reasons. Merabishvili, whose trial into other charges is already ongoing in the Kutaisi City Court, is facing a separate trial in the Tbilisi City Court into charges related to “exceeding official powers with aggravated circumstances” in connection to break up of a protest rally in Tbilisi center on May 26 2011.

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