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Georgian Dream to fight "political" arrests

By Lera Khubunaia
Tuesday, February 28
Georgian Dream’s spokesperson, Maya Panjikidze, has spoken out about the detention of party members for what she calls "political reasons".

At a press conference, Panjikidze announced that the Bakuriani party leader, Revaz Mumladze, has been arrested for pocketing the proceeds of tax evasion. Panjikidze said that this has happened before, when Tamaz Tamazishvili was arrested on October 11, 2011. She refuted the accuracy of both charges.

“[Mumladze] was arrested a week after Bidzina Ivanishvili’s statement [announcing Georgian Dream as a political party]. Tamazishvili is the father-in-law of former Cartu director Irakli Garibashvili, [which is] currently in a political initiative group,” Panjikidze said.

She claims that the same political motivations were behind the arrests of those protesting the removal of trees for the construction of a new police station in Kikvidze Park.Three protesters were fined 400 GEL, which Georgian Dream intends to appeal.

During the briefing, she also discussed the fact that the Communications Regulatory Commission will not grant a frequency for the “Channel Nine” television network.

“I think the government does not want to have honest television. However, when one of the representatives from the Communications Regulatory Commission is well paid, he is obligated to perform his job and attend the meetings,” she asserted.

Panjikidze also touched on foreign policy issues, declaring that a Georgian Dream government will not shy away from using the armed forces, particularly for peacekeeping missions.

She expressed her condolences once again for those three Georgian soldiers who died in Afghanistan last week. “In the name of Georgian Dream, I want to express my sympathy, not only for Georgian, but also for American and European soldiers, who have passed away. The death of Georgian soldiers was painful not only for their families, but for all of Georgia,” she said.