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Kobakhidze Hits Out on Public Defender

The ruling Georgian Dream party chair Irakli Kobakhidze slammed Public Defender, Nino Lomjaria saying she pursues “the same agenda” as the United National Movement (UNM), the largest opposition party. This comes after series of critical statements that the ombudsperson’s office has issued concerning the treatment of the incarcerated president, Mikheil Saakashvili.

“[The case of] Nino Lomjaria shows why UNM should not be given even a single official position, they use everything for deceit,” MP Kobakhidze claimed.

Lomjaria, former civil activist and a deputy head of State Audit Office, was nominated to the Ombudsperson’s Office by the Georgian Dream in 2017, out of four candidates named by civil soceity organizations. At the time, the UNM faction voted for Lomjaria after initial hesitation in supporting the ruling party pick, while the European Georgia parliamentary minority group – a splinter faction of UNM – voted against.

Responding to journalists on November 9, MP Irakli Kobakhidze said both Lomjaria and the UNM continue “baseless” demands to transfer ex-President Mikheil Saakashvili to a civilian hospital to “execute radical plans that we saw in action yesterday” – apparently referring to protests in downtown Tbilisi yesterady evening, which demanded Saakashvili to be treated in a civil hospital and his release from imprisonment.

The ruling party’s argument goes that Saakashvili’s transfer to private clinic instead of the prison hospital would prompt UNM supporters forcefully release the former President from captivity.

Saakashvili, on hunger strike since his arrest on October 1, was transferred to the prison hospital yesterday against his will amid concerns over his deteriorating health. Saakashvili, his doctor, lawyers, as well as Public Defender have been vocally opposing Saakashvili’s transfer to the prison hospital, citing multiple health and safety risks.

Earlier today, the Public Defender’s Office said, following their visit to Saakashvili in Gldani #18 prison hospital, that the transfer the authorities had violated the obligation to respect human dignity.

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

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