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Zurabishvili Vows to ‘Never’ Pardon Saakashvili

President Salome Zurabishvili said late on October 1 she will never pardon former Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili, who was detained a few hours ago in Tbilisi.

“Because I’ll never forget the eyes of Irina Enukidze, or of those people, who waited for justice but could not live to this day,” the President Zurabishvili noted as a reason behind her stance, referring to the mother of 28-year-old Sandro Girgvliani, beaten and left to die by security officers in 2006.

The court sentensed Saakashvili to three years in jail for abuse of power in Girgvliani case, for pardoning the former Interior Ministry officials, convicted in the case of Girgvliani. The ex-President claims he could not have been convicted for exercising his constitutional prerogative of pardon and says the sentences against him are politically motivated. He is also sentenced six years in prison for organizing an attack on opposition MP Valeri Gelashvili

“Because I remain loyal to that spirit that drove me..[..].. to fight with my bare hands against [Saakashvili] regime that crushed human rights, business freedom and the rule of law,” President Zurabishvili went on, adding that Saakashvili does not deserve pardon also for abandoning the Georgian citizenship and for illegally crossing into Georgian soil.

Noting that the ex-President arrived in Georgia “against all of the international advises and warnings,” President Zurabishvili accused him of attempts to destabilize the country amid October 2 local elections.

“From now on, the law will rule and a new page will open for the development of Georgia — not that of revanche, but of depolarization,” she said.

In her remarks, President Zurabishvili also stressed the responsibility of the Georgian Dream government to lead the country towards a democratic, European, strong state.

She said the GD government has to “fulfill every promise” given to the Georgian population and international partners: “bringing the justice reform to the end, and depolarization, European reforms, so that we could confidently apply [for EU membership] in 2024.”

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This post is also available in: ქართული (Georgian) Русский (Russian)


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