PM Irakli Garibashvili said that pursuing criminal investigation against ex-president Mikheil Saakashvili will have “no effect whatsoever” on Georgia’s European integration process and added that the former president “will not overweigh our relationship with any country.”
“We should wait for findings of the investigation and let the court decide,” Garibashvili told journalists on August 4, adding that the authorities would provide “maximum of transparency.”
Asked if concerns expressed by Georgia’s Western partners over bringing criminal charges against Saakashvili would affect country’s European integration, Garibashvili responded: “It will have no effect whatsoever.”
- EU 'Takes Note with Concern' of Filing Criminal Charges Against Saakashvili
- U.S. 'Concerned' over Filing Criminal Charges Against Saakashvili
- Polish MFA 'Concerned over Possible Selective Justice in Georgia'
- U.S. Senators Concerned over Filing Charges Against Saakashvili
“I want to calm everyone down. We have started building of genuine democracy; we are a sovereign state and we want to build sovereign, democratic state – modern, developed European state,” he said.
“Speculation that as if the former president is more important than the state is utterly absurd,” he said. “We are the democratic state, we are building a genuine democracy and the former president, who is charged with grave crimes, will not overweigh our relations with any country.”
“Statements that independent prosecutor’s office should not investigate crimes committed in the past and possibly committed by former high-ranking officials, are directly in conflict with the main democratic values – principle of rule of law,” PM Garibashvili said.
“If we declare that we want to build modern democratic institutions, where everyone is equal before the law and where principle of rule of law is observed, then no one should be standing above the law; it’s our main goal to put an end to impunity once and for all in our country,” he said.