About Civil.ge
Eng | Geo | Rus
Last updated: 10:55 - 1 May.'18
In Reaction to Ugulava’s Sentencing Senior MEP Says ‘Situation in Georgia Sends Alarming Signal’
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 19 Sep.'15 / 18:40

Chairman of the European Parliament’s Committee on Foreign Affairs, Elmar Brok, said following sentencing of Tbilisi’s ex-mayor and one of UNM opposition party leaders, Gigi Ugulava, that “the situation in Georgia sends an alarming signal.”

A written statement, released jointly by German MEP Brok and Romanian MEP Cristian Dan Preda, both from the group of the European People’s Party (EPP), reads: “The justice system is becoming an effective tool of vengeance against political opponents in the hands of the authorities.”

Tbilisi City Court sentenced Ugulava to 4 years and 6 months in prison after he was found guilty of siphoning off GEL 4.1 million of public funds by creating hundreds of fictitious job positions in the capital city municipal service in late 2009 when he was the mayor through which funds were funneled to pay salaries of UNM party activists. Ugulava denied charges as politically motivated. Ugulava was arrested inside the court building after the judge delivered the verdict into more than 2-year long trial late on Friday night, a day after Ugulava was released from 14-month pretrial detention following winning a landmark Constitutional Court case in which his pretrial detention beyond 9-month limit in connection to a separate trial was ruled as unconstitutional.

“We have received with great shock and sadness the news that former mayor of Tbilisi Gigi Ugulava has been again arrested and sentenced to over four years of jail time. This comes just one day after his release following a groundbreaking verdict of the Georgian Constitutional Court,” MEPs Elmar Brok and Cristian Dan Preda said in their statement.

“We remind that the European Parliament when ratifying the Association Agreement with Georgia in December last year strongly called on the authorities to avoid instrumentalisation of the justice system as a tool of political retribution,” reads the statement.

“This is regrettably still happening. Ongoing cases of selective justice are in grave breach of the spirit and the letter of the Association Agreement between Georgia and the European Union. The determination of the Georgian authorities to apply selective justice towards political opponents is detrimental to the country and will harm its European perspective. This must stop now,” it says.

Joseph Daul, the President of the European People’s Party which is a partner of UNM opposition party, said in a statement on September 19 that he is “outraged at the news of Ugulava’s re-arrest only a few hours after being released.”

“The EPP strongly condemns such politically motivated cases and is shocked at the continuous interference of the government in the work of the judiciary. [Georgia’s ex-PM Bidzina] Ivanishvili’s group must understand that the justice system is not a playground without rules,” Daul said. “Georgia’s European perspective has been seriously stained.”

Latest News
01 May.'18 10:55
We Have Moved to a New Platform
Direct Your Bookmarks to https://civil.ge.
29 Apr.'18 03:54
Ruling Party Candidate Wins MP By-Elections
Givi Chichinadze will represent Vani and Khoni single-mandate constituency in the Parliament of Georgia.
28 Apr.'18 09:40
Polls Open for Vani and Khoni MP By-Elections
48,123 voters are eligible to cast their ballots in Vani and Khoni single-mandate constituency.
27 Apr.'18 17:23
State Dept’s Europe Affairs Point Man to Visit Tbilisi
Wess Mitchell will meet senior government officials and address the NATO-Georgia Public Diplomacy Forum.
27 Apr.'18 13:45
In Quotes: Georgian Politicians on Ex-PM Bidzina Ivanishvili’s Comeback
Bidzina Ivanishvili will be approved as the Georgian Dream party chairman at the upcoming convention.
26 Apr.'18 18:15
SG Jens Stoltenberg: Georgia NATO’s ‘Very Close’ Partner
The NATO Secretary General says Foreign Ministers meeting tomorrow will recognize the country’s progress.
26 Apr.'18 14:24
Ex-PM Ivanishvili to Chair Georgian Dream Party
Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili said Ivanishvili was ‘best equipped’ to add new dynamism to the party.
26 Apr.'18 11:12
Lawmaker Proposes Criminal Liability for ‘Insult of Religious Feelings’
The parliamentary human rights committee decided to set up a working group for scrutinizing the draft law.
25 Apr.'18 17:21
New Abkhaz Government Head Appointed
Gennady Gagulia has served as the Abkhaz “prime minister” twice - in 1995-1997, and 2002-2003.
25 Apr.'18 14:43
Watchdog Improves Georgia’s Press Freedom Ranking
None of the countries of the former Soviet Union (except the Baltics) are ranked ahead of Georgia.

About Civil Georgia
Civil.Ge © 2001-2023, Daily News Online
Registered office: 2 Dolidze Str, 4-th Floor.