Irakli Okruashvili's attorney Zviad Kordzadze held a press conference on November 22nd. Former Minister of Defense Okruashvili was arrested on November 20th at Tbilisi Airport upon his return to Georgia after five years of exile in France. He faces multiple charges including the formation of illegal gangs, taking a bribe, abuse of duties and money laundering.
Zviad Kordzadze meets with journalists
By Keti Arjevanidze
Friday, November 23
According to Kordzadze, Okruashvili is going to cooperate with the government in the investigation process. According to Kordzadze the former Minister of Defense is doing this not because he expects a plea bargain but because Okruashsvili possesses incriminating information about other government officials.
“Okruashvili will cooperate with the new government if the investigation will look into the information which Okruahsvili has." Kordzadze stated.
Kordzadze added that Okruashvili cannot be amnestied if found guilty of the charges he faces. “We have chosen the path of justice, it was Irakli’s decision. The investigation process will take some time." Kordzadze stated.
Okruashvili's attorney added that his client will prove his innocence, and is not going to seek a plea bargain. According to Kordzadze there are no agreements between the new government and Okruashvili. Kordzadze also denied that there is political motivation behind his client's decision and that the former minister returned to Georgia only to "reveal the truth".
Kordzadze also alleged there is insufficient evidence in most of the charges his client faces. “In particular in regards to the accusation of an indifferent attitude towards the job, there is no proof whatsoever." Okruashvili's attorney stated.
Kordzadze admitted that Okruashvili took a risk in returning to Georgia but he is prepared to be incarcerated as long as the investigation continues. Kordzadze added that a French court discussed Okruashvili's case and did not deem there to be sufficient evidence to extradite him back to Georgia.
Kordzadze also mentioned that Okruashvili was not questioned about the murder of Buta Robakidze, who was murdered in 2004 when Okruashvili was the Minister of Internal Affairs. “No accusation of any involvement in Robakidze's death has been made against Okruahsvili, but if he is called in as a witness, he will cooperate with the law." Kordzadze stated.