Georgian PM vows support to judges, highlights “unacceptability” of interference with judiciary

  • The Government head said putting pressure on judges and interfering in the judiciary was a “kind of taboo” across countries, and added his team’s “common desire is to have an even more free, independent and strong judiciary”. Photo: Government Administration

Agenda.ge, 10 Apr 2023 - 14:28, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili on Monday vowed his support to Georgian judges following the sanctioning of four current and former professionals by the United States Department of State for alleged corruption.

Garibashvili responded to the development following a meeting with the members of the High Council of Justice by saying “any interference” or “any influence” on judges was “unacceptable”, and stressing the country’s judiciary had become “independent and free” under the Government of the ruling Georgian Dream party. 

As the head of the Government and the representative of the ruling party, I declare full support to all judges. The court has become independent during our Government - free from any interference, both domestic and foreign. Of course, any interference with, or any influence on the judges is unacceptable. This is absolutely unacceptable to all of us, especially when it comes to a sovereign court and judges of a sovereign country”, Garibashvili said.

“I have also assured the honourable judges of our full support. We will do our best to protect the independence of the court, the freedom of the court, from any interference or pressure. This is our declared policy, and the main goal that we have been striving for since our team came to power”, he continued.

 

The head of the Government also commented on the State Department decision by noting “not a single citizen of our country has seen a single piece of evidence that accompanied the US decision, so for me this decision raises a big question mark”.

This decision is unfortunate and incomprehensible. [...] I think the truth will come out. We will have a conversation with our partners, and not a single question will be left unanswered. [...] I want to emphasise that it is unacceptable and inadmissible to interfere in the independent court of a sovereign country in any way”, Garibashvili noted. 

The Government head said putting pressure on judges and interfering in the judiciary was a “kind of taboo” across countries, and added his team’s “common desire is to have an even more free, independent and strong judiciary”.

The State Department on Wednesday sanctioned Irakli Shengelia, Mikheil Chinchaladze, Levan Murusidze and Valerian Tsertsvadze under the visa restrictions authority, alleging they had “abused their positions as court chairmen and members of Georgia’s High Council of Justice, undermining the rule of law and the public’s faith in Georgia’s judicial system”.

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