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Prime Minister speaks about Saakashvili’s ‘friends’ club’

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Monday, August 11
PM Irakli Garibashvili said that concerns voiced by foreign ministers of Sweden and Lithuania, Carl Bildt and Linas Linkevicius regarding the political motivation in the charges against the former President Mikheil Saakashvili are because of friendship. The Prime Minister emphasized that both of the politicians are from a “club” of Saakashvili’s friends. Gharibashvili also responded to American Senators through a letter.

Bildt wrote in his Twitter blog on August 6 that the government of Georgia “deviates from the European path in using the justice system for revenge. It does damage to the country,” adding that there is rising international concern over the policies of revenge in Georgia. Meanwhile, the Lithuanian Foreign Minister spoke about selective justice in Georgia and stressed that such an approach is incompatible with European values. Gharibashvili also had to respond to four American Senators: John McCain, Jim Risch, Jeanne Shaheen and Marco Rubio, who had written that the “Georgian government’s efforts to prosecute members of the former government in a way that seems more connected to politics than independent judicial decision-making has been troubling.”

Responding to the allegations, the PM stated that “regrettably, they were not aware of the terrible things that had been taking place in Georgia for years. Even the war, it was disgusting to see the footage of the August 2008 War, where the commander-in-chief runs away…,” Gharibashvili stated, reiterating that current process in Georgia stands far from political persecution.

After the PM’s assessment, Bildt wrote another message, where he said that if the Georgian Prime Minister did not want to listen to the best friends of his country in the EU that is his choice.

“We take note”, Bildt admitted.

Majority MP Irakli Sesiashvili stated that Bildt offended a democratic Georgian state and made hasty comments without studying the situation and the case the foreign official called politically motivated.

Meanwhile, President Giorgi Margvelashvili admitted that “here we will all be united in answering the questions from Mr. Carl Bildt or any of our partners, whose comments I don’t find ridiculous,” he said, adding that all of society, state bodies and the president will be guarantees that there won’t be political persecution in Georgia.

“We have an obligation to show our partners that we are a democratic state where there is no political persecution,” the President stated

Parliamentary opposition United National Movement appealed to the government to stop its confrontation with Georgia’s allies.