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Merabishvili accuses Chief-Prosecutor of pressure

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Wednesday, December 18
Former Interior Minister Vano Merabishvili, who is currently detained, stressed on December 17 that Chief-Prosecutor Otar Partskhaladze exercised pressure on him. Merabishvili stated that the Chief-Prosecutor threatened him saying that if he did not collaborate with the investigation over the Zurab Zhvania case, heavier conditions would be created for him.

“In the case that I agreed, they would help me to leave the country with the money 'I stole’ when I was the minister,” Merabishvili said.

Merabishvili stated during the trial in Kutaisi that he was taken to the Ministry of Penitentiary at 2 a.m on Friday. Merabishvili said that Partskhaladze was waiting for him there.

“They needed information regarding Zurab Zhvania’s case and Mikheil Saakashvili’s money. They were interested where Saakashvili saved the money he had obtained during his presidency,” Merabishvili said.

Merabishvili stressed that he expressed surprise over the demand, and said that the investigation undertaken regarding the United National Movement government was complete and transparent.

“I also advised the current chief prosecutor not to repeat the same mistakes made by his predecessor and not to make statements beforehand over Zhvania’s case,” Merabishvili said

The former official stated that if he did not accept the demand, his conditions in prison would become worse and problems will be created for his family and friends outside the prison.

Lawyer of Merabishvili, Shota Kakhidze, will demand giving the records of cameras of that night to him.

The head of the press service of the Prosecutor’s Office, Temur Dolidze, called “not serious” the statements made by Merabishvili. The Prosecutor’s Office might make a longer comment concerning the accusation in the future.

Prosecutor Natia Songhulashvili called Merabishvili’s words a “provocation.”

Merabishvili’s statements are unimaginable for Minister of Justice, Thea Tsulukiani. However, the minister said that the issue would be investigated and responded to by the appropriate structures.