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Ugulava gives telephone interview to TV Pirveli from prison

By Natalia Kochiashvili
Thursday, February 27
Gigi Ugulava, Secretary General of European Georgia, got on the air by TV Pirveli from the Establishment No. 9 of the Special Penitentiary Service (the so-called Matrosov prison).

The journalist asked him if Bidzina Ivanishvili, the chairman of the Georgian Dream party really passed him a message saying that he would be arrested if he did not leave politics. According to Ugulava, Ivanishvili, offered him mediation before his arrest.

Ugulava says Ivanishvili conveyed to him through other people, that he won’t name – he didn't ask the former mayor to quit politics, but to reduce “turnovers”. Leader of European Georgia refused, responding that he would have to fulfill what he had promised people, otherwise the watershed is that it is impossible to return to any normality.

He also spoke about the unity of the opposition, noting that there is no need for a clear leader and the opposition is on the right track: “the main thing is faith, and this belief has united us.”

Ugulava thinks Ivanishvili’s lie should be confronted with unity, because “we want proportionality, because we do not want an era of dominant Megatrons, which will end in 2020 with elections.”

European Georgia leader says after looking at some research, he is sure that it will end with the result of 2012, but on the contrary - Ivanishvili will lose and will have to leave power and the country will be on the road to development.

According to Ugulava, the resources of the government, with all its real supporters and its administrative resources, are somewhere between 35-37%, a maximum of 40% and a united opposition - somewhere around 55%. He added that Ivanishvili makes the same mistakes and consequently he will lose with the same proportions. He also emphasized that in 2012 the opposition was united around Ivanishvili, while now it is united around a common idea.

Ugulava also evaluated international feedback after his arrest. The politician thanked everyone who made the statement and said it happened not because of him, but because of Georgia.

He said that the prison is the most stable place and nothing has changed there, he still has absolutely normal relations with people there and never intended to start a conflict.

“I would like to see this feedback be the brake and for the arrests not go on, not because I don’t wish something like that to these people, but because this will be even more catastrophic for the country,” said Ugulava.

The former mayor doesn’t think of pardoning at all, explaining that he cannot address anyone, since he considers Salome Zourabichvili as an add-on to Ivanishvili's government. Ugulava says Zourabichvili doesn’t need his appeal, since she can remedy that spoiled case without that.

Regarding the abuses and defamation he only said, that when the Supreme Court, or third instance, treats a person as a first instance; without a hearing, it is no longer a court.

On February 10, the Supreme Court found the former mayor of Tbilisi, the opposition party European Georgia’s General Secretary Gigi Ugulava guilty of the embezzlement of more than GEL 48 million from Tbilisi Development Fund and sentenced to 3 years, 2 months and 8 days in prison – he has already served a term for the crime.

Following the arrest of one of the opposition leaders, the Georgian Dream has come under criticism from strategic partners. Embassies, international organizations, congressmen, senators, MEPs and experts have responded to the former Tbilisi mayor's case.