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Lawyer: Interrogation violated the law

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Wednesday, November 5
Deputy Defence Minister Aleksandre Batiashvili’s lawyer Levan Samushia claims that the deputy minister’s interrogation included multiple violations of the law.

“I could not even imagine that such things could happen at the Prosecutor’s office of Georgia,” the lawyer said, stating that investigator Putkaradze did not like Batiashvili’s answers and tried to remake them.

The lawyer admitted that they expressed protest and it was reflected in the transcript.

“When the questioning was over, a transcript was presented to us where the vast majority of Batiashvili’s answers were not reflected as they were said, and the majority of them were not written in it at all. Protests were not recorded,” Samushia said.

Samushia states that after their protest, the investigator presented another transcript, where the protests were recorded, but it still lacked the responses of the deputy minister. The lawyer stressed that Batiashvili did not sign the transcript.

However, Batiashvili did not confirm that he refused to sign the transcript. The Prosecutor’s Office states that Batiashvili was not ready to answer the questions and offered him and his lawyer a repeated questioning that will be recorded on video.

Five employees of the Defence Ministry were detained several days ago for misspending budgetary funds. The Prosecutor’s Office claims that the ministry employees conducted a tender in order to purchase a cable-communication system for the ministry in a hasty manner and embezzled 6.5million GEL in favor of Silknet (the company, which won the tender). However, purportedly the real price of the service was 2.5 million GEL. The Prosecutor’s Office also states that Batiashvili’s relative is the commercial director of Silknet, and this raises suspicions. Batiashvili confirmed that his relative holds the post at Silknet, but rejects accusations that they broke the law. Silknet also denied any wrongdoing, stressing that the tender was held transparently and the company had the best offer. Akaki Shakulashvili from Delta Com, one of the companies that participated in the tender, states that his company had some questions regarding the process.

Minister of Defence Irakli Alasania, who was abroad during the detention, states that he has familiarized himself with the case and was sure in the innocence of his staff. The minister also met with Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili and presented his evidence behind closed doors.