Irakli Kobakhidze, the ruling Georgian Dream party chair, issued an extended statement justifying the actions of the Georgian authorities related to the arrest of the former President Mikheil Saakashvili and rejecting foreign criticism towards the circumstances of Saakashvili’s arrest and detention.
MP Kobakhidze identifies “the constant attempts at the politicization of justice,” as the key problem of the Georgian political system and blames “the radical part of the opposition and non-governmental organizations, but also, regrettably, the foreign lobbyists of the radical opposition, some of whom play the political role.”
By identifying the attempts “in 2020-21 to liberate three criminals – Gigi Ugulava, Nikanor Melia and Giorgi Rurua” as the key example of such intervention by foreign actors, the GD chair apparently points the finger at the EU and U.S., as the key mediators of the series of political compromises that led to their release. Charles Michel, the President of the European Council was also closely involved in the mediation process.
“If the justice does not prevail towards the criminals, especially those which are even today driven by the ambition to return to power, Georgia won’t exit the spiral of polarisation; The “Georgian Dream” can’t allow it and it won’t allow it. From now on, when we will be evaluating the steps of our foreign partners, we will be guided by the main principle reflected in this statement – the Georgian state would not cooperate with people, that due to their political bias towards criminals, don’t recognize our state as [a full-fledged] state,” wrote Kobakhidze.
The statement also broadly brushes off the criticism expressed towards Georgia’s justice system and pledges a determined response:
“Every attempt to discredit the Georgian judicial system has a single objective – protection of criminals and an attempt to shield them from just punishment for the crimes they have committed in the past or will commit in the future. We can’t stay indifferent towards these attempts and those parties, media sources, non-governmental organizations, and foreign lobbyists that are behind them.”
“The matter is simple: either these people will admit, that Georgia is a state and that in any state, the law shall prevail, or we would have to out them as protectors of criminals. They have to show, that they are friends of Georgia and not friends of Saakashvili and his criminal teammates”.