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Scandal over the assault of auditing boss

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Monday, May 15
Georgia’s head of the State Audit Office (SAO), the body which presents findings to Parliament on the activities of the government entities, has accused the former Chief Prosecutor under the Georgian Dream leadership, Otar Partskhaladze, of physically assaulting him.

SAO head Lasha Tordia, who occupied the post until summer 2012 under the United National Movement leadership, was taken to hospital early on May 13 from one of the night clubs in central Tbilisi.

Doctors said he suffered closed skull trauma and a concussion, but had no life threatening injures.

Tordia told the media that he was attacked by ex-Chief Prosecutor Otar Partskhaladze and his people early in the morning, and the assault was related to his job.

Tordia, who first appeared in Parliament in 2008 through the United National Movement list and remained there until July 2012, announced his office planned to release findings about Patrskhaladze today which will reveal the reason of the attack.

An investigation is in progress over the incident.

Georgia’s Parliament Speaker Irakli Kobakhidze called the incident “very negative” and did not exclude the creation of a special parliamentary commission to investigate the attack, as the opposition demanded.

“First of all we must wait for the results of the investigation and only after this may a special commission be formed.” Kobakhidze said.

The President’s administration stressed the attack was “horrible and alarming”, and may cause 'a feeling of inobservance amongst the public'.

“When senior public figures are attacked, an ordinary citizen may think that he is even more unprotected. The investigation must very soon investigate the incident and the offenders must be very strictly punished,” the head of the president’s administration, Giorgi Abashishvili, said.

Partskhaladze had to resign on December 30 2013, a week after being involved in a criminal record scandal and less than six weeks after taking the office.

Partskhaladze said that because of the scandal he felt responsible to quit, despite the fact he did not feel guilty.

Allegation that Partskhaladze had a criminal record first emerged on December 23, 2013 after ex-Tbilisi Mayor Gigi Ugulava announced that the chief prosecutor was convicted for robbery and theft in Germany in January, 2001.

Partskhaladze acknowledged that he had to appear before a German court after having an “incident” with the police in 2000, but he claimed that the German court only found him guilty of “verbal altercation” with a policeman and “not for burglary or theft”.