On the role of “NGOs’ in fomenting coups in Georgia, and the wars that inevitably follow them, see item below the news report. The United National Movement is the party founded by Mikheil Saakashvili, who returned from Ukraine late last year, where he held a major post in the government of Volodymyr Zelensky, to launch a coup and prepare Georgia to enter an impending war with Russia.

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Civil Georgia
April 22, 2022

Kobakhidze Slams ‘NGO Clan’ Over Judiciary Criticism

The Georgian Dream party chairperson, Irakli Kobakhidze has claimed non-governmental organizations’ criticism over the “judicial clan” stems from their attempts to restore the United National Movement party’s influence on courts.

Speaking with pro-government TV Imedi on April 21, MP Kobakhidze said “these so-called NGOs, that are conducting this campaign [on the judicial clan] have the sole aim of restoring – at least partially – the UNM’s control over the court.”

The ruling party chief stated that local civil society organizations’ criticism against the “judicial clan” began only after UNM-appointed cadres lost the positions as senior justices.

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“There are several NGOs where no one can stick nose into….You may try, create a non-governmental organization, but will fail to stick nose into this clan,” he said.

The judiciary is widely believed to be Achilles’ heel of Georgia’s transitioning democracy.

Critics from civil society organizations say a “clan” – a handful of judges holding sway over their colleagues – exists in the Georgian court system.

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The Georgian Dream government also drew criticism over the courts from the U.S. and the European Union. Recently EU counted “five setbacks” in the Georgian judiciary over the year.

A week ago, the U.S. Department of State noted in its human rights report that Georgia’s “judges were vulnerable to political pressure from within and outside the judiciary on cases involving politically sensitive subjects or individuals.”

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Late last September [2008], only weeks after Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili had unleashed a military attack on South Ossetia resulting in a five-day war with Russia, a New York City daily reported that “Russia’s confrontation with the West is escalating, with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov accusing the U.N. Development Program of collaborating with the financier George Soros to fund Mikheil Saakashvili’s rise to the Georgian presidency.”

Lavrov’s exact words were these:

“Now regarding what sources are drawn on to pay for the activities of the Georgian leadership. I have heard many rumors and reports. I know that they are now being checked and verified. At a point in the past, I believe, George Soros sponsored Georgian government members. Now I hear that the United Nations Development Program spent some of its funds for this purpose. This has to be sorted out. The chief thing is that the rules should not be violated on the basis of which the world body and all of its entities, funds and programs operate. Somebody privatizing this organization cannot be tolerated.”

Lavrov and his colleagues wouldn’t have to delve too deeply into the matter to discover the truth.
Over five years ago a major English language Georgian website contained this report:

“The Capacity Building Fund (CBF), set up with the financial assistance of the UNDP [UN Development Program] and billionaire philanthropist George Soros to support governance reforms in Georgia, launches activities and will provide salaries to Georgian officials.

“In a joint news conference with Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili at the World Economic Forum on January 22, UNDP Administrator Mark Malloch Brown and George Soros announced the creation of a CBF.

“‘In total, 5 thousand state officials will receive salaries from this fund. However, the main attention will be focused on employees of the law-enforcement agencies,’ Director of the Fund Kote Kublashvili told Civil Georgia.”

The American source cited above in reminding its readers that “Since the breakup of the Soviet Union, Mr. Soros’s OSI [Open Society Institute] has concentrated much of its pro-democracy activities in former Soviet republics…with local leaders and their nationalist supporters pledging to sever ties with Moscow,” added more details:

“The Georgian president, prime minister, and speaker of the Parliament received monthly salary supplements of $1,500 each; ministers received $1,200 a month, and deputy ministers $700….
“The program was funded initially by Mr. Soros’s OSI, which gave $1 million, while the UNDP gave $500,000.”

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