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President meets Chair of Constitutional Court

By Tea Mariamidze
Tuesday, July 26
President Giorgi Margvelashvili stated there was an attempt to put pressure on a member of his family a month ago. Margvelashvili made his statement after meeting with the Chair of the Constitutional Court, Giorgi Papuashvili, over recent statements made by Papuashvili in which he claimed that certain judges are being pressured.

The President said the Constitutional Court Chair provided him with additional facts about the alleged pressure put on the judges.

“I was not surprised to hear such facts. Unfortunately, this tendency is not new. About a month ago there was an attempt to put pressure on my family member too by law enforcers,” Margvelashvili stressed.

According to him, some politicians and law enforcers are co-operating with the government's sinister actions, and this “dangerous tendency” should be stopped and adequate measures should be taken for further prevention of such facts.

“A dangerous tendency is when some political groups have informal links with law enforcement or other structures,” the President said.

Margvelashvili underlined that Georgia’s Prime Minister is not involved in this process and he expressed readiness to meet PM Giorgi Kvirikashvili and the Parliament Speaker in order to hold consultations over the issue. He called upon politicians not to make any comments until the investigation is over and the truth is revealed.

Moreover, the President mentioned the Kortskheli incident, when members of the United National Movement (UNM) opposition party and Georgian Dream supporters engaged in brutal fighting during the May 22 by-elections. He said this fact should be properly investigated before the upcoming October Parliamentary elections.

Giorgi Papuashvili also made comments after his meeting with Margvelashvili, saying he only provided the President with further details over his comments and did not reveal the names of the judges or any specific cases. Papuashvili has already scheduled a meeting with a number of Non-Governmental Organisations, and also expressed readiness to meet with the Prime Minister.

“We should think together how to react adequately on such facts and how to let the Constitutional Court work properly in a calm environment,” noted the Constitutional Court Chair.

Furthermore, Papuashvili said the Prosecutor’s office of Batumi notified him to arrive and provide them with any relevant information. However, he said he will only meet the Prosecutor General.

UNM member Giga Bokeria says the situation is “catastrophic”.

“Instead of taking care of the people, this government does everything to keep their power and positions,” said Bokeria.

The majority says Papuashvili’s statements are groundless and advise him to address the Prosecutor’s Office if he has any proof.

Justice Minister Tea Tsulukiani responded to Papuashvili’s statements, saying the only way to ascertain the truth is to give his information to the Prosecutor’s Office.

On July 21, Giorgi Papuashvili held a special briefing and stated that certain judges ”are being watched and blackmailed” in order to make them rulings in favour of the government or to hold up the verdicts. Papuashvili did not specify the names and the details of the cases. However, he noted they are high-profile cases which are in progress now. The Chair of the Constitutional Court called upon the government for a prompt reaction and expressed readiness to provide state officials with additional information.

Moreover, Papuashvili underlined that it is not the first time he has spoken out about the pressure on judges, but no proper steps have been taken from the proper agencies yet.