Tbilisi Ex-Mayor Supported Internationally

Chairman of the European Parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee Elmar Brok and Cristian Dan Preda, European People’s Party Group Coordinator for Foreign Affairs have released a statement in support of Gigi Ugulava, ex-Mayor of Tbilisi, who was rearrested within 24 hours of being released on Thursday.

"We have received with great shock and sadness the news that former mayor of Tbilisi Gigi Ugulava has been again arrested and sentenced to over four years of jail time. This comes just one day after his release following a groundbreaking verdict of the Georgian Constitutional Court, which found his prolonged pre-trail detention illegal and unconstitutional.” The statement says Gigi Ugulava enjoyed not even a full day of freedom with his family and friends. “The situation in Georgia sends an alarming signal. The justice system is becoming an effective tool of vengeance against political opponents in the hands of the authorities” – the statement reads.

The European politicians reminded all that the European Parliament, when ratifying the Association Agreement with Georgia in December last year, strongly called on the authorities to avoid instrumentalization of the justice system as a tool of political retribution. “This is regrettably still happening. On-going cases of selective justice are in grave breach of the spirit and the letter of the Association Agreement between Georgia and the European Union.”

According to the statement, the determination of the Georgian authorities to apply selective justice towards political opponents is detrimental to the country and will harm its European perspective”, adding “this must stop now."

To remind our Readers, Gigi Ugulava was released from prison on Thursday night, after 14 months of incarceration.

The City Court of Tbilisi made the decision based on the Constitutional Court’s verdict, which partially satisfied Ugulava’s complaint over the terms of the initial imprisonment. Ugulava’s imprisonment was extended for more than 9 months, which is considered a breach of the constitutional norm which prohibits imprisonment for a longer period than is allowed in the Constitution- 9 months.

21 September 2015 11:29