Georgian Parliament Speaker Shalva Papuashvili on Friday questioned the US motivation in sanctioning former Prosecutor General Otar Partskhaladze for alleged cooperation with the Russian intelligence and Georgian judges earlier this year for alleged corruption, claiming it was his “personal assumption” the restrictions came “without evidence”.
In his press comments, Papuashvili said he expected the case against Partskhaladze, who held Russian citizenship as the US State Department indicated in September while sanctioning him, would be “closed soon” due to the absence of evidence, adding “neither in the case of judges, nor Partskhaladze no evidence have been presented so far”.
Papuashvili noted he hoped the new US Ambassador would familiarize herself with the issue of three acting and one former judges, and added “it would be positive” if her country removed visa restrictions imposed on them.
Grigol Liliashvili, the head of the Georgian State Security Service, on Thursday said the US had presented “no evidence” against Partskhaladze, adding the former official who took official position in 2013 had already left the country.
The US State Department in April imposed sanctions on judges Mikheil Chinchaladze, Levan Murusidze, Irakli Shengelia, and a former judge Valerian Tsertsvadze “due to their involvement in significant corruption”, noting “these individuals 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”.