EU Ambassador: On Authorities to Ensure Respect for Saakashvili’s Rights

Speaking with media at the National Conference on gender equality, the head of the EU Delegation in Georgia Pawel Herczynski emphasized in relation to imprisoned ex-President Mikheil Saakashvili that it falls on Georgian authorities to “make sure that all his rights are fully respected, his rights as the prisoner but also his rights as the defendant.”

In that context, the Ambassador drew attention to Saakashvili being unable to attend his hearing online on 14 December supposedly due to technical reasons, and underlined, “we sincerely hope that he will be allowed to appear before the court.” He remarked that in the 21st Century, “in a place as advanced as Tbilisi it is difficult to understand why it was not possible for [Saakashvili] to appear in court.”

To that end, the EU Ambassador expressed the hope that going forward it will be “technically possible for him to do it online as his rights as a defendant should be fully respected.”

The Ambassador also said that he was “glad” to hear that the ex-President ultimately chose to not go on a hunger strike, and reiterated that they are “monitoring his health very carefully and we are waiting for the next steps which will be decided by the Georgian court.”

Notably, the Ambassador’s comments come amidst increased attention to developments around the ex-President. Yesterday the Special Penitentiary Service released footage of the ex-President in his room at Viva Medi Clinic taken over a period of several months – a decision that Saakashvili’s lawyer labeled a “criminal offense” and one that is also being looked at by the Personal Data Protection Service.

At the same time, the Court is deliberating on whether Saakashvili’s sentence should be suspended or deferred in light of his rapidly deteriorating health condition.

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


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