EU closely monitoring Georgia, Saakashvili case

EU shows ‘concern’ regarding Saakashvili charges., 31 Jul 2014 - 15:46, Tbilisi,Georgia

The European Union is closely monitoring the situation in Georgia and says it "takes note with concern” regarding the criminal charges recently filed against Georgia’s former president Mikheil Saakashvili by local authorities.

A statement released today by EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton urged all sides in Georgian politics to move beyond past conflicts and focus on the country's future.

"While none is above the law, prosecutions in Georgia should be transparent, proportionate, free of political motivation, and adhere strictly to due process. The EU will closely monitor these and other legal proceedings against members of the former government and current opposition in Georgia,” read the statement.

"The EU recalls that the EU-Georgia Association Agreement, ratified only two weeks ago by the Georgian Parliament, commits Georgia to adhere to common values including respect for the principles of the rule of law and good governance.”

The EU believed Georgia faced "great challenges” which required forward-looking leadership to "break the mould of polarised politics”.

The Chief Prosecutor’s Office of Georgia brought charges against Saakashvili in absentia before the defence counsel on July 29. An investigation is ongoing under Part three of Article 333 of the Criminal Code in relation to exceeding official powers.

The Office filed charges against Saakashvili for the unlawful seizure of Imedi TV and other assets owned at the time by Badri (Arkadi) Patarkatsishvili, who died in February 2008, as well as exceeding official authorities that stemmed from breakup of the November 7, 2007 anti-government protests.