The office of the National Movement has become a fortress. Politicians, activists, representatives of the civil sector mobilize there and say that they will protect Melia by their own strength.
The severity of the statements and the degree of aggression are progressive. It makes little sense that political correctness is important to anyone. Judge Nino Chakhnashvili sentenced Nika Melia, the leader of Georgia’s main opposition party, to life in prison after a curfew was imposed. The decision is unprecedented for the Georgian legal space. So far, no such ruling has been issued against the current leader of the opposition party under any government. The reason for such an unprecedented and unjust verdict is just a surveillance bracelet. In any case, such an explanation was made by the representative of the ruling team George Volski.
“Our request was based on the law, which was shared by the court and granted our request. Defendant’s misconduct, failure to appear before an investigative body, disrespect to the court, his unscrupulous attitude towards the whole process stems from a criminal perspective. As for the execution of the case, it was entrusted to the relevant bodies, “said prosecutor Mikheil Sadradze after the end of the 6-hour trial.
“I will not be happy to arrest anyone,” said Giorgi Volski, one of the leaders of the Georgian Dream, at a briefing after Nika Melia’s arrest. “You all know very well that according to the verdict, Nika Melia should have been wearing a bracelet and some restrictions and was waiting for the court to consider whether his participation in the storm was real. Before resolving this issue, they offered to make a bracelet on his hand and pay bail. “There was nothing more to offer and I think they were less strict on certain issues,” Gia Volski said.
One of the leaders of the ruling team considers the verdict on the opponent’s arrest verdict to be problematic before the international community. “I am not a prosecutor, I can not assess, but in reality, the only thing that was required of Melia before the court, despite this political activity and furious struggle, was still the topic of this bracelet. That was the only condition he had to fulfill. When in such a situation, in front of the public, he demonstratively removes the bracelet, thereby making a statement that let us come and take another preventive measure. Nevertheless, they demanded payment of bail, in larger amounts. “He did not comment on this either, and you doubt that this could have been a deliberate act,” said Gia Volks.
According to him, the United National Movement was trying to get Nika Melia imprisoned: Development. “
Will the scenario develop in a revolutionary way? This is just a question at times. Speaking to VOA, political analysts say that both the ruling party and the opposition are not ready to compromise. Gia Nodia, a professor at Ilia State University, notes that agreement between the parties and a willingness to compromise is perceived as a weakness, so they try to demonstrate strength.
The central office of the “National Movement” is crowded all day. The number of people there has not diminished either since the arrival of the curfew. Despite the cold and snowy weather, more and more supporters are going there. The opposition has not yet said anything about its plans and expected agenda. Only the general spirit is known, according to which the opposition is not going to make an illegal decision. Gigi Ugulava, one of the leaders of the opposition, says that their reaction will depend entirely on the actions of the government, as the opposition will mirror the measures taken by the government.
“The most important thing, tomorrow depends only on us. The verdict handed down by Gavrilov’s court does not convict a single person. “With this verdict, we are judging all those who stand on the right side of history … The idea of freedom is never justified …” – said Nika Melia, after the announcement of the court verdict in the office of the National Movement.
“I congratulate the people of Georgia on the victory because we have won today! We are winners today not only politically, not only morally, but also spiritually. Lots of our ancestors have struggled to gain freedom and we are back on the front line of battle, right at the finish line, where victory is within reach of one hand. I want the whole society to know, all party attributes have been deleted, the sign, party politics is over. no way. There are two sides, the interests of the National Movement, the Georgian National Movement, and on the other side the interests of the occupier and Ivanishvili’s representatives. Either we stand on one side, or we stand on the other side. I am glad to see what I see now, I feel that the vast majority are standing on the right side of history. Thank you so much for the support! – says Nika Melia.
The arrest of political opponents is a kind of red line for Western society. It is one of the most important indicators of the quality of democracy in the country. It was about this threat that the Public Defender made an extraordinary statement the day before the verdict was announced. After the verdict was announced, the ombudsman wrote on the social network: “The decision of the Tbilisi City Court to use detention against Nika Melia is extremely disturbing! My staff and I spent the whole day watching the ongoing process. According to our observations, no evidence could be presented to substantiate the need to use the most severe measure of restraint – detention. Hopefully, the superior or international courts will change this decision! ”
“When it comes to the use of criminal prosecution against a politician, according to the standard of the European Court, then the so-called Article 18 is involved, which means: Is not justice dictated by certain political motives? Many factors will be taken into account at this time. One of the questions that may raise some questions is why the investigation is active in one direction (the case of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, where Nika Melia is involved) and not in the other (investigation by the prosecutor’s office, which will investigate the guilt of law enforcement in 2019). On the night of June 20 and where only three law enforcers have been sentenced to non-custodial measures, ”said Giorgi Burjanadze, Deputy Public Defender, in an interview with VOA.
The US Embassy in Georgia responded to the announcement of the court verdict against its political opponent on the social network: “We call on the government and the opposition to show maximum restraint regarding today’s court decision. Violence only helps those who want to undermine Georgia’s stability. “The current situation must be resolved peacefully,” the statement said.
In the spirit that emerges between the opposition parties after the announcement of the court verdict against Nika Melia, there is a growing expectation of escalation. Davit Bakradze, one of the leaders of the opposition, says that the government has burned the bridges and the use of robocops, gas and bullets will not be a surprise. There are also reports that an increasing number of law enforcement officers are being mobilized near the UNM office. One hundred years after the Soviet Union, February is still a dangerous February in Georgia.