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Classified materials viewed by several MPs

By Tea Mariamidze
Monday, November 24
Givi Targamadze, one of the leaders of the National Movement (UNM) and member of the Parliament’s confidence group- a team of five lawmakers in charge of providing parliamentary oversight on secret defense and security expenditures and programs – has viewed the secret documents related to the Ministry of Defence over the scandalous Cable Case, in which several employees of the Defense Ministry are charged with misspending budgetary funds. The documents were also viewed by the other four members of the group.

Targamadze refrained from making a detailed comment, as the documents were classified. However, he stressed that the documents can no longer be taken as confidential as the Chief Prosecutor’s Office has full information and materials over the issue. He also stressed that each ministry is obliged to provide information to the Confidence Group of parliament if they undertake more than a 2m GEL purchase.

“However, no ministry is interested in meeting the obligation. The Cable Case of the Ministry of Defense was an exception,” Targamadze said, stressing that unlike the Ministry of Defense, the State Audit Agency refrains from handing over information regarding the purchases of the Ministry of Interior Affairs.

“It appears that the ministry is untouchable,” Targamadze stated. He has appealed to all the ministries to fulfill their obligations regarding the Confidence Group.

One of the members of the Confidence Group, majority MP Davit Saganelidze, states that certain materials in the Cable Case must be declassified. He says that the public should have clear information over the case.

Public Defender Ucha Nanuashvili also demands the partial declassification of the documents.

The Confidence Group has already appealed to the Prime Minister to declassify several parts of the Cable Case.

Several employees of the Ministry of Defense are charged with the embezzlement of 4 million GEL in public funds. The case concerns the purchase of cable system from the Silknet Company, which finally resulted in the firing of former Defense Minister Irakli Alasania.

Alasania claims that his employees were innocent and the detention was a deliberate attack on the ministry that might have put the country’s foreign orientation at risk. He also states that the defense lawyers still have no access to the case materials. The Prosecutor’s Office states that the case is classified and this is the reason why the lawyers are not allowed to view the materials. Alasania states that the documents should be declassified and the case materials should be given to the lawyers, otherwise he intends to hold an international meetings over the issue.