Irakli Garibashvili: Police acted absolutely correctly

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"That violence which we saw yesterday [4 July] is unacceptable. Resistance to police is a punishable action. The police acted absolutely correctly. I want to take this opportunity and call on police officers to instantly prevent any such action and lawlessness," Prime Minister of Georgia Irakli Garibashvili said when speaking to journalists. According to the prime minister, no person stands above the law in Georgia.

According to the Interior Ministry eight persons were detained during the clash that took place outside the Tbilisi city court late night on 4 July. MP Levan Bezhashvili from the United National Movement, who was also detained, was released under written undertaking.

As regards the pretrial detention of the former Tbilisi Mayor Gigi Ugulava, Irakli Garibashvili said that the rule of law is the most important value for the Georgian government. "This is the main achievement of our Georgian democracy," he said.

Garibashvili recalled that the former French President Nicolas Sarkozy was detained for the aim of interrogation.

"You know what is happening in Europe. Just a few days ago the former French President Nicolas Sarkozy was summoned and detained for interrogation. We declare that we want to integrate into Europe, to have European democracy and standards. It is exactly these standards that we are introducing – no one is above the law regardless of their political affiliation and holding high public positions in the past. This is our main objective," Garibashvili said.

On 4 July, the Tbilisi City Court remanded the former Tbilisi Mayor Gigi Ugulava in pretrial custody. This decision triggered a confrontation between the police and supporters of the United National Movement outside the court. The police detained nine persons for minor hooliganism and resistance to police. Among the detainees were the UNM MP Levan Bezhashvili and the former ambassador to Italy Konstantine Gabashvili. Eight persons are detained now. The investigation is conducted under articles 166 and 173 of the administrative code which envisages the fine as punishment.

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