The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia expresses its deep sorrow over the sinking of the ship near Medellin, in the Republic of Colombia, killing and injuring numerous people.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia conveys its condolences to the families of the victims, to the Government of the Republic of Colombia and the Colombian people and express its sincere sympathies in this time of grief. Ministry also wishes those injured a timely recovery.
Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili urges everyone against jumping into conclusions on the case of Azerbaijani citizen Afgan Mukhtarli and against discrediting state institutions.
As the Prime Minister emphasized during today's Government meeting, he understands the concerns of citizens and human rights NGOs, but drawing premature conclusions is unacceptable.
"It is especially unacceptable to discredit the institutions in charge of national security. An investigation is underway. The Interior Minister made a statement, we maintain contact with our Azerbaijani colleagues, and I urge everyone against jumping into conclusions until the investigation is over. Fostering the discreditation of our state institutions will make protecting our security a very challenging task. Trust between our citizens and the state is what sustains genuinely democratic state-building. Therefore, I once again urge everyone to abstain from jumping into conclusions and from discrediting our state institutions. Of course, I urge our law enforcement to probe into this case as fast as possible, so that no one in our country may doubt the validity of respect for human rights, to assure everyone that the insinuations circulating in the past two days, including those suggesting that he was transferred, for example, are but groundless. It is absolutely unacceptable. Of course, I rule out the slightest possibility of our state institutions being involved. An investigation is underway, so we must wait for its findings," the Prime Minister of Georgia stated.
Let us congratulate you with the 25th anniversary of the diplomatic relations between USA and Georgia. We are glad that this date is accompanied with transition of the strategic partnership between our countries to the qualitatively higher level. We hail particular and increasing dynamics of our cooperation evidenced with intact support of territorial integrity and sovereignty of Georgia in the US Legal Act on Consolidated Budget for 2017 signed by the US President, Donald Trump.
Enhancement of strategic partnership is as well evidenced with USA-Georgia Agreement on Safe Exchange of Information, once again clearly confirming degree of reliability of Georgia for USA. Besides, the agenda includes further enhancement of investment and trade relations between our countries including free trade perspective approved by the US Congress with the Letter of May 2 addressed to the US President which we express our gratitude for on behalf of the Parliament of Georgia.
The bilateral meetings with the high officials of the US executive and legislative agencies held within the visit of the Prime Minister of Georgia to USA with invitation by the US Vice-President, Mike Pence evidence intact support by USA to territorial integrity and sovereignty of Georgia, as well as Euro-Atlantic Aspiration, including NATO membership, democratic and economic development, security and stability and underline role of Georgia as of the reliable strategic partner on the international political theatre.
The Parliament of Georgia expresses gratitude to the US Administration, Chamber of Representatives and Senate for unprecedented cooperation and unconditional support.
The Parliament of Georgia values the efforts of the Government and the diplomatic service of Georgia, including the Georgian Embassy to USA for provision of higher quality of strategic partnership with USA!
Chairman of the Parliament,
Statement by the Delegation of the European Union to Georgia on the verdict issued by the Supreme Court on the Rustavi 2 caseFriday, 03 March 2017 16:35
Chief Prosecutor’s Office of Georgia concluded investigation into the alleged fact of taking Ivane Merabishvili out of the cell of penitentiary facility. Investigation did not confirm commission of the crime against Ivane Merabishvili as he argued.
We’d like to remind the society, that on June 21, 2016, the Investigation Unit of the Chief Prosecutor’s Office of Georgia launched investigation into the fact of exceeding official powers committed by separate public officials, with the signs of offense provided for by Article 333 (1) of the Criminal Code of Georgia. Investigation was based on the judgement rendered by the European Court of Human Rights on the case ‘Merabishvili vs Georgia’ on 14 June, 2016, by the which the Court established the violation of Article 18 of the Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms along with Article 5 (1) of the same Convention, on account of certain circumstances. Among those circumstances were Ivane Merabishvili’s accusations of allegedly taking him out of the #9 Penitentiary on December 14, 2013, and exercising psychological duress on him.
Case in point is Ivane Merabishvili’s statement which he made during the trial hearing at Kutaisi City Court on December 17, 2013, where he stated, that on the night of 13-14 December, around 01:34, he was taken out of the #9 Penitentiary was probably brought at the Department of Corrections, where Otar Partskhaladze, the Chief Prosecutor by then, exercised psychological duress on him.
Due to Ivane Merabishvili’s statement mentioned above, on December 20, 2013, the General Inspectorate of the Ministry of Corrections, Probation and Legal Assistance of Georgia commenced an administrative inspection, which was concluded on January 14, 2014. Administrative inspection did not confirm the fact stated by Ivane Merabishvili – illegally taking him out of the cell, therefore, investigation was not launched into the mentioned fact.
Aside of the administrative inspection, on the basis of the decision made by the European Court of Human Rights on 14 June, 2016, for the purpose to verify the abovementioned circumstances indicated in Ivane Merabishvili’s statement made on December 17, 2013, all counter, necessary or/and procedural actions were conducted within the framework of investigation instituted by Chief Prosecutor’s Office of Georgia. In particular, recordings of 18 outside surveillance cameras located along the alleged route (From Abuseridze-Tbeli Street- Ketevan Tsamebuli Ave, adjacent premises of Isani Subway station, Cholokashvili Square, Gulia Square) indicated by Ivane Merabishvili, which was requested in course of administrative inspection conducted at the General Inspectorate of the Ministry of Corrections, Probation and Legal Assistance of Georgia, were examined; also, recordings from the surveillance camera which entirely covered the only motor way coming out of the #9 Penitentiary to Ketevan Tsamebuli Avenue, and the entrance area near the administration building of the Corrections Department were analyzed, though, not during any time frame on the route both given by Ivane Merabishvili, there was not found any SUV, by which he allegedly was illegally taken from the penitentiary. An Expert examination of these video recordings was scheduled, and the conclusion established, that the video recordings were not tampered.
From the #9 Penitentiary and #9 Outside Security Division of the Department of Corrections, investigation seized special registration journals reporting December 2013 period, in particular, the journals containing logs of the vehicles arriving at/departing from the area of the facility, arrival/departure logs of the persons with passes, arrival/departure logs of investigators, prosecutors and attorneys; also the journals showing convicts/defendants transfer or movement out of cells as well as out of the area of the facility. In the said journals, the fact of taking Ivane Merabishvili out of the #9 Penitentiary or arrival/departure of any motor vehicle is not mentioned for the period of interest of investigation. A technical and graphical examination of the documents was scheduled for the seized journals, and the conclusion showed that there was no trace of a page being torn out of the journals or an entry being modified.
Within the frameworks of investigation conducted into the case, more than 50 persons were interrogated as witnesses, among them all the employees of the #9 Penitentiary, which were on duty on December 14, 2014, and which could possible possess any information about taking Ivane Merabishvili out of his cell. The said witness categorically denied the fact, that I. Merabishvili was taken out of the cell.
Otar Partskhaladze, the former Chief Prosecutor of Georgia, and Nodar Darbaiseli, the Former Chairman of the Corrections Department of the Ministry of Corrections, along with director and deputy director of the #9 Penitentiary, were questioned as witnesses. I. Merabishvili implicated the deputy director in illegally taking him out of the cell. The mentioned witnesses categorically denied the facts given in Vano Merabishvili’s statement, regarding the aforementioned act.
Lali Moroshkina, a former employee of the Corrections Department of the Ministry of Corrections, whose opinion the European Court of Human Rights relied on in its decision made on June 14, 2016, was also interrogated as witness. Though, Lali Moroshkina, in the statement she gave to the authorities explained, that about Ivane Merabishvili’s statement in which he indicated the fact of illegally being taken out of the cell, she learned from the media. And, as for her statement ‘Even a child knows, Merabishvili was taken out of the prison by Darbaiseli’, the witness explained that it was not truthful and that statement was a journalist’s interpretation
The only witness, who indicated the factual circumstances of taking Ivane Merabishvili out of his cell, was Ivane Merabishvili himself. In the explanation he gave on January 3, 2014, he unambiguously points that, he was taken out of the cell by the director, who entered his cell alone, while in the statement given during investigation he notes, that the director of the facility was accompanied by a person named Dito. Besides, while giving the explanation, Merabishvili made clear, that he was able to identify the persons, who, according to his statement, put him into the car and brought him to the administration building of the Department of Corrections, though he ‘did not deem necessary’ to give their descriptions. He ‘did not deem necessary’ as well to describe the room, where he met with O. Partskhaladze and D. Darbaiseli, and items in it. Ivane Merabishvili was completely unable to describe the mentioned two persons and the room in the statement given to investigation. While giving his explanation, Ivane Merabishvili also stated, that there were 4 persons in the car by the which he was moved to the administration building of the Department of Corrections: the driver, Merabishvili himself and two strangers. Though, in the statement given to investigation, he mentioned a person sitting by the driver’s seat. Therefore, I. Merabishvili’s statement is unfounded, inconsistent, and contradicts the evidence existent in the case.
Investigation also revealed, that the recordings made by the surveillance cameras located at the #9 Penitentiary, were only kept for 24 hours. Since Ivane Merabishvili made his statement after three days, On December 17, 2013, it was not possible to request and examine the video recordings. It is important to inform the society, that on December 16, 2013, I. Merabishvili met with attorneys Stepane Tumanishvili, Giorgi Chiviashvili, Otar Kakhidze and Giorgi Oniani in the prison. Only Giorgi Oniani gave a statement to the investigation and explained, that he knew nothing more regarding Merabishvili’s statement other than it was disseminated on television. Despite he met with I. Merabishvili on December 16, 2013, he was unable to remember having conversation with him about such matter. As for Stepane Tumanishvili, Giorgi Chiviashvili and Otar Kakhidze, they exercised the right prescribed by Article 50 of the Criminal Procedure Code of Georgia and refused to provide investigation with any information, and Otar Kakhidze additionally exlained the investigation, that he did not have any information about the factual circumstances of taking Ivane Merabishvili out of the cell.
Thus, comprehensive, complete and objective investigation into the case did not confirm the fact of taking Ivane Merabishvili out of the #9 Penitentiary, therefore, the Chief Prosecutor’s Office of Georgia discontinued investigation into the case due to nonexistent signs of offense.
Ivane Merabishvili and his attorneys, who took part in the mentioned criminal proceedings, were informed about the decision of Prosecution. The attorneys were explained, that they were able to familiarize with the case materials at any time of their choice.
In response to the today's statement by EPP President Joseph Daul addressed to the Prime Minister of Georgia, the Administration of the Government of Georgia issued the following statement:
The Administration of the Government of Georgia emphasizes the respect of the Prime Minister and the Government for the opinions of their European colleagues. The Prime Minister and the Government pay due attention to their suggestions. However, justice in a democratic system is administered by the judiciary, not the executive branch or a prime minister.
Georgia is a European country, Associated with the European Union, and it has successfully implemented European standards. Since 2012, Georgia's distinguished progress in the process of the implementation of European democratic reforms has been recognized by the European Union as well as by other partners and international organizations. Georgia managed to transform itself into a country rooted in the basic value of human freedom.
In a democratic system, those guilty are held responsible for their crimes, including violent criminal acts resulting in deaths, torture, dishonor and humiliation.
The Government of Georgia cannot engage in the process of releasing persons charged in the court with such crimes despite their political affiliation, and it cannot introduce impunity, which is also unacceptable in a democratic society. These are not the values of a Western, democratic and constitutional state.
Georgian Government's adherence to these values cannot be compromised in response to a politically motivated statement.
“I have made a decision and I am responsible that statistics does not publish- this statement was made by the Interior Affairs Minister. According to Giorgi Mgebrishvili, Interior Ministry law doesn’t oblige to publish statistics.
“The statistic was published in January, 2016. The statistics have been publishing every month but I have decided that I am responsible for that statistic will not publish. There is no regulations and laws for it,”-he said.
STATEMENT BY PRIME MINISTER OF GEORGIA: "I wish to respond to the absolutely unsubstantiated and irrational accusations voiced today, claiming that Government of Georgia has no common position on the presented Action Plan.
I wish to once again clarify for general public that Revenue Mobilization Plan of the Government of Georgia, which is reflected in the Draft State Budget of 2017 has been developed by the entire team within the authorities of the country. This is the most important step made towards the implementation of the Four Point Reform Agenda. It is a shared position of the entire team in the Government of Georgia, which is aimed at the rapid overcoming of the current challenges facing the country and designed for future development.
In the capacity of the Prime Minister of Georgia, I assume full responsibility for the implementation of the referred plan. Irrespective of any attempts, nothing and nobody can ever prevent us from the implementation of the vital reforms in the country, which are and will remain to be solely aimed at the welfare of our people and rapid development of our country. What is most important, society and citizens understand that some steps may not be easy today, but are bound to be followed by rapid economic growth and better future."
We are gathered for the last Executive Government Meeting today, until the new composition of the Government of Georgia gets endorsed. I wish to briefly overview the past four years that we have worked together performing tasks that can be definitely labeled as the most significant for our country and our people. Therefore, I wish to greatly thank you all for this.
I wish to particularly stress the contribution in the breakthrough of our country made by Mr. Bidzina Ivanishvili, first Prime Minister of Georgia from our team. It was an essential transformation of national policy and governance of our country. I wish to sincerely thank him on behalf of all of us. I also wish to thank my predecessor, Mr. Irakli Gharibashvili and everyone else working within the Cabinet of Ministers at different occasions doing the most important job for the country.
What makes me most proud is that a human being has always been the prime and supreme value for our Government. Every step we took together was aimed towards, about, around and for humans. Healthcare Reform Agenda was oriented at them. It enabled hundreds of thousands of our citizens to seek medical treatment for gratis and today we have healthier people great merits to this initiative.
Another milestone achievement of our efforts was aimed at the protection of the socially vulnerable groups and internally displaced people. We always sympathized with regular people and their concerns. Moreover, no person is nowadays afraid of openly expressing his ideas and making choice. Judiciary has undergone a considerable progress. Media is genuinely free. All of this taken together is indeed a huge progress. Our country has advanced this much and duly demonstrated it to the international community.
Georgia evidences progress practically in every dimension according to the rating systems of international institutions - be that democracy or economic development measurement indicators.
Also, voluminous success has been achieved in our quest for European and Euro-Atlantic integration. Georgia signed the Association Agreement (AA) with the European Union (EU), including the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA). Indeed, it opens entirely new opportunities to Georgia and to the private sector in our country. In addition, we made significant trade links with the East, which is equally and tremendously important indeed.
Of course, there were a number of serious challenges within these four years - both within the country and overseas. We always managed to address them with a shared effort.
Being the Prime Minister of Georgia, I take great pride in every single day spent with each one of you. What makes us significant is the foundation made to the Four Point Reform Agenda, which should serve as a solid ground for the vast economic breakthrough of our country in the coming four years, fundamental transformation of the education system, modernization of the nation-wide infrastructure, development of spatial planning and further more improvement and transformation of the governance system. It will indeed bring more prosperity to each individual citizen of our country and our mission will be met - to let every person embrace the significance and outcome of changes happening and anticipated in the country.
Great trust expressed by citizens of our country by voting for the Georgian Dream in the recent general elections was a huge success on its own merits within the context of democratic development of Georgia. We should by all means translate it into the well-being of each individual living in this country, making it clear and vivid for everyone - thus leading to essential, quality adjustment. Once again, let me thank you all. Let me also wish a brighter future to our country.
Georgia strongly condemns the terror attack on the police academy in Quetta, the provincial capital of Balochistan, the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, on 25 October 2016 leaving tens of people dead. Georgia expresses its concern over an increasing number of terrorist acts in the world reaffirming the hope that the concerted efforts by the international community will help prevent violent extremism and strengthen international security.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia conveys its condolences to the families of the terror victims and to the Pakistani people as a whole and wishes speedy recovery to those who have been injured as a result of the attack.