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Akhalaia’s family speaks out on behalf of Bacho Akhalaia

By Salome Modebadze
Tuesday, November 13
Roland Akhalaia, father of detained former official Bacho Akhalaia, has requested that General Prosecutor Archil Kbilashvili begin an investigation into Defense Minister Irakli Alasania.

The United National Movement (UNM) MP Roland Akhalaia, claimed that during the election period, his competitor from the Georgian Dream, (Alasania) sent him a criminal authority, demanding to withdraw his candidacy after winning majoritarian elections in Zugdidi and threatened him with arrest.

According to Akhalaia, Alasania also threatened to create unrest in Zugdidi. To prove his claim, Akhalaia recollected how people from the different regions caused disorder after his victory in the region.

Alasania then appeared at the street rally of the Georgian Dream supporters, calling on the Zugdidi election commission to annul the result, and asking the protesters to move their protest elsewhere, as it was disturbing the work of the district election commission; the protesters cooperated with his request.

But Akhalaia said if the Ambassadors of the EU and USA would not have engaged in the process in time, it would have grown into a civil confrontation. Akhalaia found Alasania’s activities criminal and stressed that he has enough evidence to prove his claim.

Minister of Justice Tea Tsulukiani said Akhalaia’s complaint will be studied like any other suit to define if there are real facts of his threatening or oppression.

Defense Minister Irakli Alasania said every person has the right to bring an action against anyone; confident that the court and investigation would find the truth, he said the October 1 parliamentary election has put an end to the “fortuitous justice” of the former government.

Meanwhile in a text released on Sunday, November 11, the Akhalaia family expressed their gratitude towards the people who support Bacho Akhalaia and say that they do not believe in the “incomprehensible and absurd” accusations levied against him. Calling Bacho’s detention a political decision, the Akhalaias said the “insulting campaign” against the former official creates an image opposite of what he really is. Calling him a “courageous man” who cares for the security of his country, state interests and even unfairly oppressed people, Akhalaia’s family members addressed the public not condemn a person whom they do not know well.

But the Minister of Justice said accusations against Bacho Akhalaia would gradually become heavier. According to Tea Tsulukiani, in one of the complaints against the former official, a mother connects Akhalaia’s name with the murder of her son.

Detained on November 6, Bacho Akhalaia remains in pre-trial detention for illegal suppression of freedom and violation of official duties. Akhalaia’s court session is scheduled for December 25, 2012, but his lawyers have appealed to change the preliminary detention with parole or bond payment.

Former Chief of Staff of the Georgian Armed Forces Giorgi Kalandadze and Chief of the 4th brigade Zurab Shamatava, were also accused of violating official duties with Akhalaia. Released on 20, 000 GEL bail, they were suspended from their positions.

Minister Tsulukiani said despite his deserving military activities, Giorgi Kalandadze cannot be the Chief of Staff because of his treatment towards his servicemen.