Saakashvili summoned to Prosecutor’s Office for questioning
By Messenger Staff
Tuesday, March 25
On March 27 former President Mikheil Saakashvili was requested to appear at the Prosecutor’s Office for interrogation to clarify certain details regarding ten different criminal cases.
Saakashvili has flatly refused to cooperate with this legal summons. He and his United National Movement team have launched a scandalous fuss over the issue.
While Georgia has moved towards the values of the European Union and NATO – the world community has put different challenges before Georgia. Most noteworthy was the demand that Georgia create a functioning independent judiciary – one that is free from the influence of the political establishment.
The international community asked Georgia to exercise the rule of law in each and every case. It has been emphasized multiple times that everybody is equal against the law; no matter how high a position, each person must be treated equally as an ordinary citizen. Those in high positions should not be exempt from the rule of law.
However, there are high-ranking people who have immunity during their service, for instance MPs, the president, and the prime minister.
That being said, there is a precedent for interrogating world leaders. US presidents have been interrogated. They answered investigation officials while at their position when they still enjoyed immunity. The president of Israel is another example, and several others around the world. Some of them were eventually detained leaving the court to decide their fate.
In summary, there is nothing unusual, extraordinary or unprecedented in the case of Saakashvili. Of course, nobody can predict with certainty that he will be detained, and nobody can predict that he will be found innocent either. This is the job of the investigation officials and judges (if needed), many of which were appointed to their current positions by Saakashvili himself.
However, the Georgian people demand that Saakashvili answer some awkward questions; questions that need to be addressed. Many things need to be accounted for during his two terms as Georgia’s president.
Saakashvili’s team meanwhile has unleashed hysteria in protecting their leader. Some western officials, unfortunately, have also begun protecting Saakashvili, thus creating a double standard. On the one hand, they insist that Georgia follow the rule of law, while on the other hand, to cast a blind eye to the violations that have probably been committed by Saakashvili during his service.
Saakashvili’s presumption of innocence should be protected, but it is his duty as a former statesman to appear in front of the prosecutor’s office and answer the questions.
Georgian officials might invite professional lawyers from other countries to closely observe the process, but this way or another the Georgian people need to know the truth.