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UNM accused of meddling Constitutional Court

By Tea Mariamidze
Thursday, August 11
The Head of the Parliamentary Human Rights and Civil Integration Committee, Eka Beselia, and her Deputy, Gedevan Popkhadze, addressed the diplomatic corps accredited in Georgia and accused the United National Movement (UNM) party of influencing the Constitutional Court.

Beselia and Popkhadze released a letter in which they aim to show the Georgian public and the international community once again that “the real face of the UNM which is trying this time to use the Constitutional Court as a political tool".

According to the statement, in recent years the UNM politicized all state institutions, including the Constitutional Court.

“It is clear how the Constitutional Court was formed, where the Chairman of the Constitutional Court Giorgi Papuashvili represented the United National Movement's interests,” the statement reads.

Tension among the Constitutional Court started on July 21, when the Constitutional Court Chair, Giorgi Papuashvili made a public statement that certain judges ”are being watched and blackmailed” in order to make them rule in favour of the government.

The Prosecutor General’s office launched an investigation into the incident and questioned each member of the nine-seat court. According to the Prosecutor’s office, all of the judges who were questioned deny that they are pressured.

The statement underlines that as the alleged pressure on the judges was not confirmed, some violations inside the Court were revealed, such as distributing politically sensitive cases, violation of cases' sequences and distinction of particular cases by political grounds.

“After such facts were revealed, these judges have become objects of an attack from the UNM and its satellite parties or non-governmental organizations,” the statement reads.

Moreover, Beselia and Popkhadze accused the Court Chair and several judges of dealing with the former ruling party.

“We hope that this information will be assessed objectively and the current events will be properly analysed, so that the work of State and Constitutional bodies will be guaranteed,” the letter says.

This is not the first time Beselia has addressed the public. On August 4, the head of the Human Rights Committee and the ruling team Georgian Dream (GD) Chair, Gia Volski, said the UNM attempted to carry out a 'Constitutional revolution'.

The ambassador of the United States to Georgia, Ian Kelly, commented on the information released by Beselia and Popkhadze on Wednesday.

“An independent court and litigation are very important. Any issue should be solved legally and should be free from any political pressure," said the ambassador.

According to a political expert, Gia Khukhashvili, the statement of the majority representatives would mean nothing to foreign diplomats and this is another classic case of a narrow political interest that stands above the interests of the state.