The United National Movement opposition party released an official statement calling on representative of the diplomatic corps in Georgia and non-governmental organizations to “speak up against the alarming fact of politically motivated persecution and discrimination” concerning the case of Giorgi Oniani.
On November 7, Tbilisi City Court sentenced lawyer Oniani, who is a member of the UNM’s political council, to four years and six months in prison, after finding him guilty of abuse of power and falsification of evidence related to cases from 2011, when he worked in the Ministry of Internal Affairs.
The UNM thinks that the arrest of the party’s political council member is a continuation of practices of political persecution and selective justice in the country.
“The detention of Giorgi Oniani assures that the persecution of political opponents by the Georgian Dream government has a systemic feature. Giorgi Oniani’s case is a clear example of discrimination based on political reasons, which contradicts the association agreement signed with EU, and it goes against the declared duties of Georgian state in regards to creating a democratic political system,” reads the statement issued by the UNM.
The investigation by the Prosecutor’s Office of Georgia suggests that in 2011, Oniani planted drugs on two Georgian Dream supporters which led to their unlawful detention. Tbilisi City Court found Oniani guilty and sentenced him to 4 years and 6 months of prison. Oniani was arrested in the courtroom right after the decision was announced on November 7.