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Saakashvili continues to criticize the current government

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Friday, June 28
President Mikheil Saakashvili continues to criticize the current Georgian government. On June 26th Saakashvili stated that the government is "staging" demonstrations against him in front of his residences. Saakashvili stressed that the Georgian Dream government has chosen a path of "selective justice" and suggested that the "producers" of various video footage depicting torture are walking freely outside as if they had been "nominated for an Oscar."

Saakashvili made the statements late on June 26th, and added that he will no longer live in the Bobokveti presidential residence.

"In response to considerable speculation about whether my residing at Bobokveti was too much of an expense I decided to move into my motherís flat." Saakashvili stated, adding that the current government of Georgia "staged" several demonstrations in front of the presidential residence in order to get him to leave.

"Such actions will not stop me, I will go anywhere in Georgia and stay in various apartments, that will not disturb my political activities." Saakashvili stated.

The greater portion of the presidentís statements was devoted to Vladimer Bedukadze (who was one of the authors of the torture videos and their release last year) and the former Georgian Minister of the Interior Vano Merabishvili.

Saakashvili stressed that Bedukadzeís release from charges was a sign of "selective justice". The president stressed that as Bedukadze was one of the main participants in the torture depicted in the video footage he must be as severely punished as everyone else that was involved.

Concerning Merabishvili, Saakashvili emphasized that the foreign community has described the former Interior Ministerís detention as "politically motivated."

Georgian Dream member Ani Mirotadze thinks that the president knew about torture and other inhumane treatment that was occurring in Georgian prisons.

"Once the president said that if a policeman commits a crime and a minister does not dismiss him the minister is as much scum as the policeman who committed the crime. If the president does not dismiss the minister from the position, the president is also scum. I agree with the words of Saakashvili and I am sure that he knew all about the wrongdoings taking place in our penitentiary institutions." Mirotadze stated. She appealed to the president and members of the UNM to take responsibility over their own actions, rather than demanding punishment for others.

According to Aleksi Petriashvili, the Minister of European and Euro-Atlantic Integration, the international community is well-informed concerning the arrest and "No questions have been asked by NATO or other important organizations regarding the ongoing judicial process in Georgia."

Petriashvili stated that the government should ensure maximal transparency in regards to legal matters.

Concerning Bedukadze, the NGO Transparency International Georgia (TI), stated that he must not be fully released from responsibility. According to TI and the UN Convention Against Torture, none of the documents issued by the government can be used as justification of torture.

Bedukadze was released from responsibility due to the plea agreement signed between him and the Chief Prosecutor for "special collaboration."