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Everybody must be accountable for their actions

By Messenger Staff
WEdnesday, November 28
Georgia’s new administration continues the process of detaining the representatives of the previous administration and continues to interrogate them. The chain of responsible persons continues without any end so far. For instance, it looks like the actions of high-ranking officials like Tbilisi Mayor Gigi Ugulava, former Minister of Internal Affairs and PM Vano Merabishvili, could be questioned. There are multiple cases of old officials acceding power. From a superficial glance– specifically from the eyes of our Western friends, this looks like political revenge or simply a witch-hunt. However, the current majority claims that this is not the case and that these individuals are being detained because they have violated the law or have abused it.

The recent visit of the EU High Commissioner for Foreign Affairs Catherine Ashton also touched on this sensitive issue. She met with President Mikheil Saakashvili as well as PM Bidzina Ivanishvili. During her visit, she mentioned that there should not be selective justice in the country. However, the current ruling majority highlights that they are the ones who are trying to establish the rule of law in the country. By punishing former officials due to their various violations, the current leadership sends a message to its own members as well; it reminds them not to violate law, as they will eventually have to answer for their actions.

When a person illegally listens to private conversations, recording them for use in blackmail, is it a crime or not? When a high-ranking officer beats a soldier or a lower ranking officer, insults him verbally, physically and then threatens him and intimidates him, is it a crime or not? Should those people be punished? We leave this answer to our readers. When high official misappropriate money, uses it for their personal interests and pay personal bills, is it a crime or not? The people who have been detained currently have provided different names and more people have gotten involved in the process and there are multiple notorious criminal cases which need to be investigated thoroughly. Everybody is interested in the details of the obscure death of PM Zurab Zhvania. The whole nation is also concerned about the results of the August War with Russia, which resulted in lost territories and hundreds of thousands of IDPs, as well as the brutal dispersal of the public rallies on November 7, 2007 and May 26, 2011, when people were beaten and even killed. All of this needs to be answered. People demand justice. Unless justice is achieved through the court system, the process will never end. Unless those who are guilty are punished, the new administration might be tempted to commit similar violations.

So the process continues and presumably we will be witnessing some high-ranking former political leaders being faced with answering for their deeds. There is only one request from the Westerners however: to be objective and fair and to try and put themselves in the place of the Georgian people who want a fair and open society with equal demands for all the members of society– whether they are in high-ranking positions or just ordinary citizens.