Today’s ruling, in the cases of Gvaramia, Iashvili, and Damenia, calls into question Georgia’s commitment to rule of law, US Embassy in Georgia says in a statement.
The US Embassy says from its inception, this case has raised questions, including about the timing and the charges.
“Today’s ruling, in the cases of Gvaramia, Iashvili, and Damenia, calls into question Georgia’s commitment to rule of law, and further demonstrates the fundamental importance of having an independent, impartial judiciary in Georgia. From its inception, this case has raised questions, including about the timing and the charges. The disturbing pattern of selective investigations and prosecutions targeting those in opposition to the current government undermines the public’s confidence in the police, prosecution, the courts, and the government itself. Particularly at this time, when Georgia has an unprecedented opportunity to advance its Euro-Atlantic integration, even the perception of politicized prosecution is detrimental. It is the United States’ firm position that a healthy democracy depends on ensuring judicial independence and protecting media freedom. That is why we have repeatedly called for the government to undertake comprehensive reforms to advance these fundamental democratic principles,” reads the statement.
Nika Gvaramia and Kakhaber Damenia, the accused along with him, were found guilty by the court, while Zurab Iashvili was found not guilty. Nika Gvaramia was found partially guilty by the court, part of the articles with which he was charged were reclassified under Article 220 and he was sentenced to 3 years and 6 months.
By Ana Dumbadze