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Verdict on Rustavi Metallurgical Plant concerns PM

By Tea Mariamidze
Monday, April 6
Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili called a judge’s verdict to sequester Rustavi Metallurgical Plant’s property a subversive decision.

He made this statement while he was meeting with businessmen in the Kvemo Kartli region.

The PM expressed his hope that the newly-elected Chairman of the Supreme Court, Nino Gvenetadze would take interest in the case.

“It is unacceptable that GEL 120 million worth of the plant is closed over a 4,500 GEL debt. This is a disaster, it is a diversion,” Garibashvili stressed.

NGOs say that the prime minister’s statement included signs of interference in the court’s issues.

According to them, judges are independent and obey only the Constitution and the Law. Nobody has the right to influence them or interfere in their work, even the Chairperson of the Supreme Court.

They called on the PM and other political officials to respect the independence of the judiciary, and to refrain from making similar statements in the future.

The Chairman of Supreme Court Nino Gvenetadze responded to Garibashvili’s statement, saying that such appeals may include the impact on the litigation.

“I would like to remind the public and the authorities that confidence in the court could be achieved if the government officials would respect the Court, and restrain themselves from interfering in its decisions,” Gvenetadze said.

Following the negative reaction, the PM said that he had no intentions of influencing the court, and that his statement was misunderstood.

According to him, under the current government, there has not been even a single case of interference in court issues, and emphasized that he just expressed his opinion.

“This is a logical question, because 2,500 people are facing the threat of unemployment. I am concerned as the country's Prime Minister,” Garibashvili explained.

He made an apology, but said that people’s well being matters more to him than the opinions of others.

The Rustavi Metallurgical Plant made a statement on February 24 of this year, stating that Judge Lasha Gochiashvili prohibited the use of various sections of the plant’s property based on the appeal of Eter Mtvralashvili, who demands 4,500 GEL compensation from the company.