My personal conclusion is that this issue seems to be closed or will be closed soon – it seems that there is no evidence against Partskhaladze, said Speaker of the Parliament Shalva Papuashvili while commenting on the investigation related to the former Prosecutor General of Georgia Otar Partskhaladze.
As he noted, there are no more questions regarding the fact that there is no evidence regarding both Partskhaladze and the judges, and the only question left is what was the motivation of this decision taken by the US.
Papuashvili expressed hope that the new US Ambassador will get to know this issue. He added that it would be a good step if the US would remove visa restrictions imposed on 4 citizens of Georgia.
“It is a general human and legal rule – the one who accuses must prove it. This is an elementary rule that has been operating on this planet for millennia. Precisely because the investigation is in the interest of our country, the State Security Service appealed to the US, the State Prosecutor’s Office appealed to three different agencies, the Department of Justice, and there were also appeals to other agencies, including the Security Service. Unfortunately, no evidence is presented. On the contrary, the relevant agencies of the USA were surprised, as it was said publicly, and asked whether Georgia has any information by chance. So my personal conclusion is that this issue seems to be closed or will be closed soon. A month has passed since the accusation against Otar Partskhaladze was publicly announced, behind which it seems that there is no evidence. Also, 7 months have passed since visa restrictions were imposed on several Georgian judges, and no evidence has been presented even after 7 months. This makes me and the head of the Security Service think, and he spoke about it publicly, that there is no evidence in the case of either the judges or Otar Partskhaladze,” Papuashvili said.
He also answered the question why Partskhaladze was allowed to leave the country and noted that “Canvas” trainers were also allowed to leave the country, however, it may turn out that “they are to blame”.
“If he is not charged, you cannot restrict his movement. Among them, in the case of “Canvas”, no one has restricted the trainers from leaving the country. It may turn out later that the charge is to be brought, and they have already left the country,” Papuashvili said.
Otar Partskhaladze was sanctioned by the US on October 14 for operating or having operated in the management consulting sector of the Russian Federation economy. According to the US State Department, Partskhaladze “worked with the Russian Federal Security Service to influence Georgian politics and society to benefit Russia.”
On September 22, the Administration of the President of Georgia released a statement, saying that the President did not consider it expedient to terminate the citizenship of Otar Partskhaladze. The President said that Otar Partskhaladze was exposed for espionage and an investigation was initiated against him, therefore, he should be punished as a citizen of Georgia if convicted.