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Gigi Ugulava refuses to report to police station

By Keti Arjevanidze
Tuesday, February 12
The Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA) has warned Tbilisi City Mayor, Gigi Ugulava to present to the Investigation Department otherwise legal measures will be taken against him, the MIA announced.

Ugulava was summoned for interrogation as a witness about the events that occurred on February 8 outside the National Library, but he did not comply with the request of the investigators. A busy schedule was cited as the reason for Ugulava’s absence, the press service of City Hall informed.

According to the MIA’s statement, Ugulava violated Georgian law. “He is obliged to present to the investigation department and announce everything he knows about the case,” reads the statement. The MIA also states that a refusal to testify is a crime and punishable by four years in prison.

According to the mayor, he is not refusing to come to the Police Department he is simply protecting ordinary policemen and investigators’ dignity. "I do not want them to become the instrument for fighting with the opposition via Gharibashvili and Ivanishvili,” Ugulava stated.

“I will not change the mind. I will wait for the investigators to come to my office,” insists Ugulava. According to the mayor, if the minister of internal affairs wanted to defend the dignity of himself and his department, he should have done it at the National Library... he said that Irakli Gharibashvili as the minister is shameful."

Minister Gharibashvili similarly evaluated Ugulava’s refusal.

According to Gharibashvili, the mayor’s actions are unclear and shameful. “Seemingly, with the previous government there was a caste of privileged people,” he said while presenting the details of the incident on February 8 at the National Library to accredited diplomats in Georgia.

Gharibashvili said that what happened on February 8 was the logical result of an unhealthy environment in which the Georgian police work.

The minister added that the investigation about the case has already started and that some people were questioned. Several people were questioned about the case and several are left to be questioned, Gigi Ugulava is among them.

UNM member Koba Khabazi was one of the UNM members questioned about the case. According to him the investigators were interested in the details of the February 8 inident, but avoided revealing the details due to the investigations interest. Rati Kvantrishvili, from the NGO Social Control Center, also was questioned. Kvantrushivli remembers that after watching footage taken at the National Library, he identified that Nikanor Melua, the former head of the Old Tbilisi Regional Governor was beating him.

UNM members Levan Bezashvili, Sergo Ratiani and Giorgi Kandelaki were also summoned for questioning but did not come to the police, saying that to summon the deputy for questioning a parliamentary agreement is needed. They are however, going to cooperate with the investigation and invite the investigators to their office or parliament.

Meanwhile Minister Gharibashvili appealed to them to respect the law and forget about their ambitions.

Georgian Dream members also commented on the issue. According to Prison Minister Sozar Subari, the tone of the UNM members and their actions are audacious. The minister promised that all the people who are suspected in the National Library case will be punished.