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Alasania: ‘Ivanishvili is defeated’

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Friday, June 19
The Chief Prosecutor’s Office filed a motion with Tbilisi City Court, requesting cancellation of detention applied against the five former officials of the Ministry of Defence of Georgia.

This is one of the most notorious cases that resulted in sacking of former Defence Minister Irakli Alasania. The former minister and the current leader of the opposition movement Free Democrats, Alasania has stated that his employees were innocent and the arrest was an attack on the Ministry, himself, and Georgia’s foreign course.

In his exclusive interview for The Messenger, Alasania stated that Georgia’s former Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili, who according to him runs the country from behind scenes, was against the rapid integration of Georgia into NATO and he was an obstacle for him in the way.

“Now Ivanishvili is defeated. This is the merit of social activeness. The current government has tried to somehow whiten its activities and made the statement prior to the session of the Court of Appeals, where the innocent individuals would be freed from detention anyway as the Prosecution has no genuine evidence,” Alasania said.

According to the Prosecutor’s Office, the motion for the cancellation of their detention is based on the circumstances that the stage of the consideration of evidence admissibility was passed during the pretrial hearing, all the evidence submitted to court by the Prosecutor’s Office has been declared as admissible evidence, i.e. as the evidence obtained in compliance with the law.

“Accordingly, as of today, the risks of influencing witnesses and destroying evidence from the defendants’ side have been reduced; imprisonment imposed on the defendants had a preventive outcome that led to the reduction of threats of absconding, committing a new crime and concluding illegal transactions between the defendants and witnesses,” the office said.

Georgia’s current Defense Minister Tina Khidasheli welcomed the solution, saying that when she was an MP, she also signed a similar motion on the so-called Cables Case.

The Chief Prosecutor’s Office detained five officials of the Ministry of Defense on October 28, 2014. They stand accused of embezzlement of 4.102,872 GEL from the state budget. The prosecutor’s office became interested in one of the state projects which involved Silknet, a leading telecommunications company in Georgia.

The Chief Prosecutor’s Office claims that former Defence Ministry officials, who are currently in pre-trial detention, arranged a sham tender in 2013 to have a fibre optic cable and networking equipment installed for a Silknet contract worth 6.7 million GEL contract with the Ministry of Defence, though the rendered services were worth only 2.6 million GEL.

The next pre-trial hearing of the case is scheduled on June 19, 2015 at 11:00 AM in Tbilisi City Court, where the prosecution’s motion for the cancellation of detention will be reviewed.