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Alasania schedules special briefing over Georgian-France air-defense talks

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Thursday, April 2
Former Defense Minister, and current leader of the opposition Free Democrats Party Irakli Alasania, stated that the process regarding the notorious Cable Case is ongoing with the North Korean scenario, when one individual, former Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili, specifies the fate of innocent people.

These statements came after the postponement of a pre-trial session with the five officials of the defense ministry under Alasania’s leadership, who are accused of misspending four million GEL from the state budget. The session has been put off until April 15, due to technical issues.

Alasania claims that it’s unfair to keep people in prison for two more weeks.

In his prior statements Alasania stressed that the detention of his employees might have been related to his dismissal.

He said several days ago that the current Defense Minister Mindia Janelidze phoned him when he was in France as Georgia’s Defence Minister and told him not to sign a document regarding the purchase of air-defense weapons.

Alasania claims that he signed the document, which term expired on March 31, 2015.

The Defense Ministry dismisses the accusations, saying that no memorandum was signed with France.

There is speculation in the media that Alasania was punished for making independent decisions, and before his arrival from overseas, several employees of the Defense Ministry were arrested in November of 2014.

Responding to the detentions, Alasania stated that Georgia’s foreign orientation was at risk, and that is what pushed the prime minister to sack him.

Now Alasania states that he will hold a special briefing regarding the Georgian-France agreement on April 3.

Commenting on the briefing, Defense Minister Mindia Janelidze has appealed to the Free Democrats to refrain from making any statements pertaining to classified issues, as such statements would affect state interests, and the ongoing talks over important security issues.

The so-called cable case concerned a cable system purchase from the Silknet Company during the time when Alasania was the defense minister, and five former officials of the ministry were detained and were charged for misspending a large amount of budgetary funds.