Decision on ex-president's pardoning in hands of President, EU Ambassador says  
Decision on ex-president's pardoning in hands of President, EU Ambassador says  

The decision about pardoning or not pardoning jailed ex-president Mikheil Saakashvili or anyone else is “purely in the hands” of the Georgian President,” said Pawel Herczynski, EU Ambassador to Georgia.

“That decision about pardoning or not pardoning Saakashvili or anyone else is purely in the hands of the Georgian President. I have nothing to say about it. This is her constitutional right. If she wants to use this right or not this is absolutely her decision to make,” he said.

The EU Ambassador said he hopes for a positive decision on Georgia’s candidate status that would contribute to political depolarization in Georgia.

“I sincerely hope that the decision to be taken by 27 member states on granting Georgia candidate status on the 15th of December on the part of the European Union, will help to depolarize the political spectrum.

This would be a very strong signal that the doors to the European Union membership are open to Georgia, and it will be for all political leaders in Georgia to take full advantage of this to move fast forward to introduce necessary reforms. There is guidance in the form of the newly identified nine steps. We hope that the progress will be made as soon as possible before the elections. We should not wait for the elections.

There is a need to catch up with the European Union as soon as possible to take advantage of this opening of the candidate status so that we can move to the next steps and we can accelerate the process. And we can celebrate not only the candidate status but also the opening of accession negotiations, closing of different chapters, and then the full membership of Georgia in the European Union,” he said.

Attending his trial at the Tbilisi City Court remotely via a video link on November 20, jailed ex-president Mikheil Saakashvili congratulated President Salome Zourabichvili on emphasizing oligarchy. Saakashvili also said that the President’s signature on his pardon “could restore political balance” in Georgia.