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Scandal continues

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Tuesday, May 16
Georgia’s former chief prosecutor Otar Partskhaladze, who has been accused of physical assault by the current head of the State Audit Office, Lasha Tordia, has made counter accusations and claimed he was the victim of a “dirty PR stunt”.

In a written statement, Partskhaladze denied Tordia’s accusations of a deliberate physical assault related to the audit findings to him and said Tordia was the initiator of the clash which left him [ Tordia] with minor head trauma.

Partskhaladze stressed Tordia was addicted to alcohol and when he started the fight he was under the influence of spirits.

He added he has not worked in the public service for years and “had nothing” to hide.

Tordia dismissed the accusations and demanded experts to find out who was “under the alcohol or other influence.”

He also stated “many knew about Partskhaladze’s love of drugs”.

“I don't doubt he was under the influence of drugs when he attacked me. I had only drunk just half a glass of cocktail,” Tordia said.

The audit agency head stated a “corruption deal” took place between Partskhaladze and the Tbilisi Mayor’s Office and very soon he would release the materials proving this.

Tordia also claimed that he had a “small incident” at one of the city's bars in 2016 but doubts footage reflecting this may appear on the internet.

“It was a minor incident, not even a glass was broken. However, I doubt the video will soon appear on the internet when the Prosecutor’s Office is very likely to hide the video depicting the most recent clash,” Tordia said.

Majority and minority representatives have already commented the incident and asked for a “comprehensive investigation” and the “relevant punishment of offenders”.

The investigation is in progress as Tordia, who was in hospital, said he was attacked by Partskhaladze and his people early on May 14.

NGOs say the Prosecutor’s Office may try to somehow avoid any punishment of Partskhaladze, who headed the office in 2013.

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

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 office.

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

Allegations 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 burglary or theft”.