The Daily Beat: 17 February
Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili, accompanied by his top diplomat, Ilia Darchiashvili, is attending the annual security conference in Munich. On the sidelines, Prime Minister encountered the EU foreign affairs and security policy chief, Joseph Borrell, discussing reforms and Georgia’s EU integration. According to the prime minister’s office, progress in implementing the 12 EU conditions for candidacy and regional security matters was topping the agenda. “We will continue to bolster our relations and stand together to strengthen Georgia’s resilience and defend European security,” Borrell tweeted after the meeting. On the side of the economy and business, PM Garibashvili also held talks with the CEOs of Goldman Sachs and Airbus Helicopters.
On the second anniversary of his resignation, former prime minister Giorgi Gakharia released a video address, berating the ruling Georgian Dream for derailing the country from its democratic and pro-western trajectory. Gakharia blamed Bidzina Ivanishvili for ignoring the European choice of the Georgian people and said the reclusive billionaire patron of the ruling party was stirring anti-western discourse instead of uniting the public behind EU integration. Gakharia admitted with regret that he also contributed to the country stumbling in this direction.
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Public Defender’s Office slammed the draft law “On Transparency of Foreign Agents” proposed by the “People’s Power” faction, saying that it “does not comply with international and domestic human rights standards and is incompatible with the basic principles of a modern democratic state.” The office urged the authorities to remain faithful to its international and constitutional obligations and desist from instilling an atmosphere of mistrust and hatred towards civil society groups.
In the “Ochigava vs. Georgia” case, the European Court of Human Rights found Georgia guilty of violating of Article 3 (Prohibition of Torture) of the Convention, both substantively and procedurally. The ECHR ruled that the ill-treatment of the applicant amounted to torture and noted the lack of an effective criminal investigation, ordering the country to pay the applicant EUR 20 000. As a result of mistreatment in Gldani prison in 2011-2012, Akaki Ochigava was left with severe spine damage and confined to a wheelchair. The Ministry of Justice was quick to blame Mikheil Saakashvili’s administration. Yet, although actual torture indeed took place before the Georgian Dream took office, most of the cover-up recorded by the Court took place afterward.