On March 13, eleven members of European Parliament, sent a letter to Georgian President Salome Zurabishvili, in which they appeal to Georgian leader to consider release of former Tbilisi Mayor Gigi Ugulava, who has been found guilty for embezzling GEL 48 million and was sent to prison for three years and two months in February.
“Many of Georgia’s friends and ardent supporters have expressed concern over some of the developments that led to increased polarization and antagonism in recent months in particular,” the MEPs stated, adding that “one of the main triggers in this unfortunate process was the imprisonment of Gigi Ugulava, Secretary General of European Georgia.”
Referring to March 8 Agreement over electoral system reform between the ruling Georgian Dream and opposition parties, the MEPs said that “this positive news has come as an encouragement that Georgia will be able to continue its progress on the road to fulfilling the European choice of its people.” The MEPs stressed that “full implementation of the agreement in its letter and spirit will be crucial to ensure de-escalation and normalization of the political situation in Georgia in the run op to this year’s pivotal election.”
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They wrote in the letter that “while the government and the opposition will continue to disagree about the merits of this and other cases, we appeal to you, as the President of Georgia, to consider exercising your legitimate constitutional powers specifically in the case of Mr Ugulava, whose release is viewed as a test for the implementation of the Joint Agreement.”
“It is our belief that such act would be a major step towards the full normalization to which Georgia’s friends, like us, are looking forward,” concluded the MEPs.