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Alasania issues warning to government

By Tea Mariamidze
Wednesday, November 19
The government of Georgia has been given a final warning by former Defense Minister Irakli Alasania.

During Alasania’s official visits to France and Germany a month ago, five officials of the Defence Ministry were detained and were charged for misspending budgetary funds. The case concerned a cable system purchase from the Silknet Company. Later some other employees of the ministry were arrested for mass food poisoning case in 2013. Following the developments Alasania stated that the situation seemed to be a deliberate attack on the ministry that might put the country’s western orientation at risk. Owing to the claims made in terms of Georgia’s foreign course, the prime minister fired Alasania. The former minister keeps claiming that his employees were innocent and there were violations in the case.

“It is my final warning; I warn the government to conduct an open and transparent investigation of the so-called cables case and declassify the documents,” Alasania stated.

According to him, lawyers of the arrested high–ranking officials of the Georgian Defence Ministry have not been allowed access to the case materials.

“If our demand is not met, we will continue our struggle in the international arena,” Alasania said.

Prime Minister has stated that the process stands far from political interference and the Prosecutor’s Office will reveal the truth. However, Minister of Justice Thea Tsulukiani stressed that it was not an “ordinary” case and she shifted the whole responsibility on the Chief Prosecutor.

Meanwhile, the State Audit Agency checked the ministry’s last three years of activities and stated that there were several violations.

However, General Auditor Lasha Tordia stated that the documents studied by his body belonged to the periods of three different defense ministers.

“We have sent ten documents to the Prosecutor’s Office that presumably reflect wrongdoing within the ministry. However, only one is related to Alasania’s period in the ministry,” Tordia said, stating that after the investigation, questions might be answered in this case.

“It is up to the investigation, it is the job of law-enforcement. When we send materials to the Prosecutor’s Office, the body launches an investigation on them,” Tordia says.

Some analysts in Georgia, like Soso Tsiskarishvili, believe that the Prosecutor’s Office is still influenced by the UNM and the steps taken towards Alasania and his ministry are aimed at some negative moves within the Georgian Dream coalition.