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Former US Ambassador Kelly on Garibashvili: “We, Americans, know the danger of a leader who makes up facts”

By Nika Gamtsemlidze
Monday, July 19
The Former Ambassador to Georgia, Ian Kelly, took to Twitter over the weekend to talk about the statements of Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili, who previously said that he “never heard of the US and Europe making critical remarks” around the UNM-era judiciary system in Georgia.

Ian Kelly reminded Garibashvili of the criticism towards the judiciary system during the previous government of Georgia saying that the remarks of the Georgian Prime Minister are not true.

“Not true. Look at the Human Rights Report — there was always criticism of the UNM-era judiciary. Take 2011: “false, politically motivated charges,“ “Abuse of prisoners by govt officials,” “judicial authorities continued to act in favor of the ruling party”. Those are just a few examples of US criticism of Saakashvili’s judiciary. Georgians should know the truth,” wrote Ian Kelly on Twitter.

Kelly stated that he, as an American, knows the danger of a leader "who makes up facts" instead of facing the truth.

The Prime Minister of the country talked about the lack of criticism on the UNM-era judiciary system of Georgia while discussing the feedback that the appointment of six Supreme Court judges was followed with.

“Until 2012, the court was a unit of the ordinary prosecutor's office. I, unfortunately, and to my great surprise, have never heard a critical remark from either the United States or Europe towards the court, which is unfortunate and not fair,” said Garibashvili.

Garibashvili also told reporters that judicial reform is a continuous process and it can't be over in a day or two. He even said that in terms of judicial independence and transparency Georgia is doing better than some of the EU countries.

“I promise everyone that this misunderstanding with our strategic key partner will be eliminated and we will answer all the questions. It needs more communication, more relations, and more explanation,” added Garibashvili.

Parliament approving 6 Supreme Court judges was followed by negative feedback from international partners of the country.

The United States Department of State and Secretary of State Antony Blinken issued statements on July 16 expressing deep disappointment with the appointment of six judges by the Georgian Parliament and calling on the Georgian authorities to implement the April 19 agreement.

On July 15, the US Embassy in Georgia stated the necessity to suspend the appointment of judges to the Supreme Court. For her part, on July 16, US Ambassador Kelly Degnan said that the US' message should be taken seriously by the Georgian authorities.