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PM: UNM aims to discredit police

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Friday, January 30
Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili states that the opposition United National Movement (UNM) is busy with discrediting the police. The statement came after the UNM released videos that showed several facts of egregious disobedience to police officers.

Gharibashvili has called the game dangerous.

"Any unfair word spoken or action carried out against a policeman is viewed as anti-state behavior. The work of our law enforcement system is invaluable. They need protection and support from the government and society.

“24 hours a day, these people are fighting against criminals and facing bullets to protect our people and country,” Gharibashvili said.

Gharibashvili said that the army and the police are depoliticized, a fact which the government is proud of. He emphasized that he will not allow anyone to discredit the police.

"This is an absolutely unacceptable and repulsive fact. We have managed to liberate the police, put them back in service of the country and returned them their dignity. Being the minister, I have united them as one family. The same applies to the other entities, like the Prosecutor's Office or the army,” the PM said.

Meanwhile, law-enforcement officials have made their first comments regarding the videos.

Deputy Head of the Patrol Police Levan Machavariani stated that the facts reflected in the videos really took place, but in 2013 and that the offender was detained and punished.

“Allegations that some of the officers featured in the video were fired are false. From the two officers in the video, one was promoted, while the other quit the police based on his own will a month ago,” he said.

The UNM released three videos. Two of them depicted the same woman who attempted to avoid a fine through her personal links to officials, while the third showed a drunken high-ranking official resisting police, insulting them for pulling him over.

“It is an obvious breakdown of state institutions. We are sliding back to Shevardnadze’s era, when offenders were solving problems through personal links,” UNM MP Zurab Japaridze said.

The UNM claimed that some police officers were dismissed from their jobs, as they stopped such citizens who were either in power or had a close relationship with current officials.