Nikanor Melia, who took refuge in the office of the National Movement and was detained by the so called pro-Western opposition for about a week, and who said he was not afraid and could not be arrested because the authorities did not dare to do so, was arrested by law enforcement on February 23. Nikanor Melia was sentenced to imprisonment by the Tbilisi City Court on February 17. His arrest and transfer to the relevant penitentiary institution should have taken place on the same day, but in this case, as in the case of Ugulava, Okruashvili and others, the law proved ineffective. Melia, who took refuge in the office of the “National Movement”, was inaccessible to justice for a week. What has hindered the government in enforcing the law and why not if it has not been able to punish the culprit so far? Human rights activist Nana Kakabadze talks about these and other important issues.
– Mrs. Nana, Nikanor Melia, who was not arrested in time by the law enforcers, told the media that the government could not be arrested. It was a kind of mockery that the government and its laws are putting the opposition on its feet. What does it mean for us today as a state that a court has sentenced a person to imprisonment and it actually took a week to execute that decision?
– First of all, it is to be welcomed that, albeit with a delay, the execution of the law has still succeeded. This is very important and I think the government had no other choice in this case if it did not want to bury it politically in the end. As for the fact that it took so long to execute the court decision, in short, during the whole week that the guilty fox was out, we were, in fact, seeing a clear example of a collapsed, dismantled state. Until now, the government has tried to disguise and justify its own weakness, but in this case we have seen the declared injustice, which the top officials openly told us: yes, the law has been violated, the crime is obvious, but I can not catch the culprit. I sincerely wanted, and still want t to address the leadership to which this applies specifically: Do you really think that in this way you will either retain power, or that your will receive from your foreign partners any kind of dividends or will you even achieve an imaginary peace in the current political situation ?!
– Do you think all this is impossible?
– In my opinion, the political system in a state whose leadership cooperates with crime and deals with entities found guilty on the basis of infallible evidence is doomed to disruption. In such a case, it simply loses its function and, eventually, a reality called the disappearance of legal principles emerges. This is the situation in Georgia today and it seems that we will not be able to get out of it for a long time, because I can not imagine how people should have a sense of justice in a country where the trial is broadcast live, the judge announces a verdict of guilty, it is reasoned, but its execution fails within a week. . . As for Melia’s case in particular, it is clear and today, probably no one needs to explain that this person deliberately, deliberately broke the law, deliberately tore the bracelet and did not pay the bail, but what is interesting, you know? If they do not have the power to enforce a lawful court decision; If they do not have the power not to turn the culprit into a TV star before they are arrested, which “democracy” are they wary of ?! What do they protect and what are they afraid of – chaos? Embarrassment? What more chaos and disorder do you want when the culprit laughs at you, will you not catch me, sorry and you could not eat my legs ?!
Another point here is important: the rule of law and the rule of law mean that the law must be one for all; Simply put, justice must be done equally to any citizen. What is the government saying to the people who are in prisons according to the court decision ?! Is not selective justice when one man – the culprit is unpunished and the others are punished ?!
-, What has been holding the government back for so long? Fear of unrest is probably less, because the Nationals and the opposition as a whole do not have the support of the general public. The fact is, what could be the real reason for such a delay in the execution of justice?
– To tell you the truth, I do not know. It is impossible to explain all this by logic, however, they themselves are afraid of the reaction of foreigners, what they will say. . . As for the West and the fears that we should do as they tell us, otherwise the government will overthrow us, I do not think that someone will write Georgia off the international geopolitical field and forget or, even more, punish, because of Melia. It’s impossible; And, in general, we unselfishly give nothing to anyone. Georgia, as a territory, has a strategic load for them in this geopolitical area, so whether you catch Melia, Ugulava and others will not lead to a big political explosion. Yes, some senators may make one or two statements, there may be criticism in the European Parliament, etc., but I have said and I will repeat: no one will reject Georgia because of this. . .
– However, these days the US State Department has issued a statement stating that Georgia must act in accordance with its Euro-Atlantic aspirations. What can all this mean?
– I do not know what specific subjects meant in their behavior in line with their Euro-Atlantic aspirations, but I, as a citizen of this country, would like to say one thing: If this so-called Euro-Atlantic political orientation demands impunity and selective justice from us as if support. . . By the way, these days, the chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Lithuanian Seimas, who also visited the office of the Nationals, was distinguished by his particularly bold appeals to the government from foreign diplomats. . . I am very sorry, but who is asking him about the internal political affairs of Georgia ?! Who gave this man the right to come out and tell us with such harsh rhetoric: If you want NATO and the EU, you have to stop political repression. . . Do you know what that means? This is an insult to the state system, including the judiciary. In general, I think that any such statement, no matter who makes it, should be responded very strongly to the level of government, although the government, which took a week to catch the guilty Melia and finally barely managed to do so, is probably less likely to do so. . .
– What is needed in the current situation to rectify this situation and make justice actually effective?
– In theory, all this is very simple; We need political will and a backbone, principled government that, when the crime is obvious, will not start looking at the West with a tail wagging at what it tells us, but will act at the dictation of the law. However, in reality, of course, we do not have such a government, so the solution lies in a fundamental change in the existing political elite.
As for the calls from our so-called well-wishers that we should act in accordance with Euro-Atlantic aspirations, the question arises: why did they not act in accordance with the Euro-Atlantic course, when they severely beat Trump supporters ?! Or that 24 people were arrested in just one day at a yellow-vest rally in France! I am not saying that there was a case against Sarkozy and that the policy of double standard, which is actually declared colonialism, is already being carried out openly towards the whole of Georgia, in the name of democracy. This should be called by his name and everyone should be given an answer. Otherwise, I will repeat, Georgia and the Georgian people will never achieve the main goal for which we opposed the regime in its time and together we took the greatest risk, we will never become a state governed by the rule of law in the civilized world; We will never become a stable country where every citizen feels protected.
Interviewed by Jaba Zhvania